AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN JOSE – A Nevada couple who planted a severed finger in a bowl of Wendy’s chili to extort money from the fast food chain were sentenced Wednesday to prison terms of at least nine years. Anna Ayala, 40, who said she bit into the digit, was sentenced to nine years. Her husband, Jaime Plascencia, 44, who obtained the finger from a co-worker who had lost it in a workplace accident, was sentenced to more than 12 years. “Greed and avarice overtook this couple,” said Judge Edward Davila in Santa Clara County Superior Court, adding that the pair “lost their moral compass.” The two pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to file a false insurance claim and attempted grand theft with damages exceeding $2.5 million for the finger fraud, and unrelated additional charges. In a tearful plea for leniency, Ayala apologized to the gallery and said the incident was “a moment of poor judgment.” Ayala had said she retched March 22 after biting into the fingertip while dining with her family at a Wendy’s in San Jose. Forensic testing later showed Ayala never chomped on the finger, but she described the incident to television news crews. “There’s no words to describe what I felt, it’s sick, it’s disgusting,” she said in one clip played before sentencing. “Just knowing there was a human remain in my mouth is tearing me apart inside.” Although authorities suspected a hoax – in part because the finger wasn’t cooked – word of the stomach-turning find quickly spread around the world. The Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s International Inc. claimed it lost $2.5million in sales because of the bad publicity and dozens of workers at the company’s Northern California franchises were laid off. No Wendy’s employee was missing a digit at the San Jose restaurant, and no chili suppliers reported finger injuries at their plants. “I felt so bad for the fear of what people would think of me,” testified Hector Pineda, who made the chili and initially came under suspicion. “We are the ones that have suffered.” Denny Lynch, senior vice president for Wendy’s, asked the judge to send a message that “consumer fraud is a serious crime that demands a severe penalty.” The couple must pay about $170,000 in restitution for workers’ lost wages. The judge also ordered them to pay nearly $21.8 million to Wendy’s International and JEM Management, which owns the restaurant. Both corporations agreed not to collect from the couple, provided they never benefit from the ruse. In April, Ayala was arrested at her suburban Las Vegas home for filing a false claim against the restaurant chain. Investigators found a pattern of legal claims she brought against businesses in her name or for her children. A lengthy search for the finger’s owner eventually pointed to one of Plascencia’s co-workers, who lost it in an accident at the paving company where they worked, police said. Plascencia bought the tip of Brian Rossiter’s right ring finger for $100 and told him what he and Ayala were plotting, according to court documents. Rossiter later told police the couple offered him $250,000 to keep quiet. During a recorded jailhouse phone call, Ayala bragged about how other inmates were asking for her autograph, according to a transcript of the call. Ayala was also convicted of defrauding a woman by selling a motor home she didn’t own and Plascencia was convicted for failing to pay child support.