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CA: Prosecutors ask for maximum sentences for (Wendy's) chili finger couple (Sentencing Wednesday)
ap on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 1/17/06 | Kim Curtis - ap

Posted on 01/17/2006 4:04:25 PM PST by NormsRevenge

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Prosecutors are asking a judge to impose maximum prison sentences for the couple who masterminded the plot to plant a human fingertip in a bowl of Wendy's chili, calling the pair "grifters" who demonstrated "a total selfishness and perceived entitlement to other people's money."

Jaime Plascencia, 44, and Anna Ayala, 40, pleaded guilty on Sept. 9 to two felony charges arising from the chili-finger scam: conspiracy to file a false insurance claim and attempted grand theft with damages exceeding $2.5 million.

At most, Ayala faces nine years, eight months in prison for her part in the scam, among other charges. Plascencia could get 13 years in prison on the charges, including failing to pay child support.

In court documents filed last week, prosecutors urged a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge to sentence both to the maximum. The defense also filed documents last week, but Ayala's lawyer wouldn't provide them and they were unavailable from the court.

"It seems as though the district attorney's office is seeking to effect a judicial result through media pressure," defense lawyer Frederick Ehler said in a statement Tuesday. "The defense prefers to trust in the integrity of the process and to let the process run its course through the court."

Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Ayala claimed to have found the fingertip March 22 while dining with her family at a Wendy's in San Jose. Authorities said they believed it was a hoax, but the story quickly spread through headlines around the world and served as punch lines for comedians.

A search for the finger's owner eventually led to one of Placencia's co-workers, who lost it in an industrial accident, police said. Plascencia bought the fingertip from Brian Rossiter for $100 and told him what he and Ayala were planning, according to court documents. Rossiter later told police the couple offered him $250,000 to keep quiet, the prosecution filing said.

On May 13, San Jose Police Chief Rob Davis held a news conference and announced police had learned the source of the finger. Hours later, Ayala called her sister from jail and seemed convinced her son, who's now 18, had led police to Rossiter, according to court documents. She told her sister to sell the house where the boy was living and do it quietly.

"If he's going to be like that, then he's not my son," Ayala told her sister in Spanish. Prosecutors said the boy "remained faithful to his mother" and never told police what he knew about the crimes.

Prosecutor David Boyd, calling Ayala the "public face of this crime," said she presented a version of herself that is in "direct contrast to the apology that will be heard on Wednesday."

During Ayala's recorded telephone call from jail, Ayala also seems to enjoy her notoriety by bragging about how other inmates were asking for her autograph.

"The defendants' crimes here demonstrate an organized, manipulative and deceitful attempt to extort money for their own benefit without regard to the individual and collective harm," prosecutors wrote. "(Their) repeated criminal conduct demonstrates a total selfishness and perceived entitlement to other people's money. ... They are grifters."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: annaayala; ayala; chili; couple; finger; fingerfood; fraud; maximumsentences; prosecutors; wendys

1 posted on 01/17/2006 4:04:26 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Max would be a little unfair.

We have way too many rapist and murderers walking around, who did half that time.

It was annoying and aggravating what she tried to pull, but it is cruel to make an example out of her.


2 posted on 01/17/2006 4:07:01 PM PST by The_Republican
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To: NormsRevenge

BTTT


3 posted on 01/17/2006 4:07:47 PM PST by Fiddlstix (Tagline Repair Service. Let us fix those broken Taglines. Inquire within(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: NormsRevenge

Let's hope the judge doesn't just shake his finger at them.


4 posted on 01/17/2006 4:11:48 PM PST by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
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To: The_Republican

I disagree. The amount of damage caused by this is staggering both financially to Wendy's but through the loss of jobs and security for the workers.


5 posted on 01/17/2006 4:12:45 PM PST by packrat35 (The America hating bastards at the NYT must spend their entire life with their heads in the toilet)
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To: NormsRevenge

Wendy's can sue this couple for intentional torts--fraud, etc. I hope they do--


6 posted on 01/17/2006 4:12:54 PM PST by Mamzelle
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To: NormsRevenge

Ayala is proud of what she did. She deserves every minute she spends behind bars. Wendys lost millions because of her greed and deceit. This isn't the first time she tried to pull this crap.


7 posted on 01/17/2006 4:13:36 PM PST by Jaidyn
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To: The_Republican
Max would be a little unfair.

Disagree. I'm sick of idiots like these. Send them up the river for many years of hard time.

8 posted on 01/17/2006 4:13:48 PM PST by IonInsights
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To: NormsRevenge
ANd there's that judge in Vermont giving 60 days to a man who kept a 6 year old for 4 years, raping her continually.
9 posted on 01/17/2006 4:14:24 PM PST by Principled
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To: IonInsights

What about the hard-core violent criminals who haven't done 13 years?

Shouldn't we keep crimes in perspective?


10 posted on 01/17/2006 4:15:08 PM PST by The_Republican
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To: The_Republican

Max don't mean max because nobody serves max, that's how the crazy system works.


11 posted on 01/17/2006 4:15:41 PM PST by Revolting cat! ("In the end, nothing explains anything.")
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To: The_Republican
but it is cruel to make an example out of her.

I'm guessing you're on medication right now and not responsible for your statements.

Making an example of her is precisely what we need to do, unless you favor frivolous lawsuits, extortion, grabbing national attention, damaging corporations, etc.

12 posted on 01/17/2006 4:17:37 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: NormsRevenge
>>At most, Ayala faces nine years, eight months in prison for her part in the scam, among other charges. Plascencia could get 13 years in prison on the charges, including failing to pay child support.<<

I wonder why the large disparity in sentences?

13 posted on 01/17/2006 4:20:41 PM PST by Muleteam1 (Higher education comes with or without wisdom.)
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To: Dog Gone

I bet you were one of those who wanted to set Martha Stewart Free.

What she did, hurts millions, and hurts economy, and faith in free markets.

She served few months in blue-collar prison.

This stupid woman tried to scam Wendys and yes frivolous lawsuits hurt people, but her crime is is NO WAY worse than Martha's.

She has no one to speak up for her because she is poor and is not a celebrity.


14 posted on 01/17/2006 4:20:54 PM PST by The_Republican
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To: The_Republican

She is not accused of rape or murder, so the comparison is useless.

I wonder why the lawyer who filed for her/them is not indicted?


15 posted on 01/17/2006 4:21:49 PM PST by sarasmom
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To: The_Republican

I can't agree with you. In this case, the max is more than justified because of the loss of millions to Wendy's and the loss of many many jobs suffered by innocent people who worked for them.


16 posted on 01/17/2006 4:24:20 PM PST by jazusamo (A Progressive is only a Socialist in a transparent disguise.)
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To: sarasmom

If I properly understand your question, then I refer you to the Sixth Amendment.


17 posted on 01/17/2006 4:26:46 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: NormsRevenge

Well, it looked good on paper...


18 posted on 01/17/2006 4:27:51 PM PST by jaydubya2
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To: packrat35

Great reply. I totally agree with your logic. Their crime caused a lot of damaged to honest folk. Screw'em - give them the max - then forget them.


19 posted on 01/17/2006 4:34:47 PM PST by Dacus943
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To: packrat35

Agree 100%. The amount of economic damage to Wendy's (millions of $ in lost business) plus layoffs for employees, etc. is worse than some of the corporate criminals. Plus, abuse of the judicial system is not something we should take lightly (Clinton perjury notwithstanding).

These people wanted the spotlight, now they will get it. Can't think of a much better deterrent to the next idiot that thinks this is a good path to easy money.


20 posted on 01/17/2006 4:38:45 PM PST by KingofZion
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To: The_Republican

Wuss. Put the rapists in for life (I believe in protecting women, not treating them as objects like the barbarian Moooooslims do) and the murderers on death row--in Texas, where we do what we say we're going to do. And max out these reprobates for all the harm they've done to many people.


21 posted on 01/17/2006 4:41:51 PM PST by brushcop (We lift up our military serving in harm's way and pray for total victory and a safe return.)
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To: brushcop

Yeah! Show your toughness on this woman!


22 posted on 01/17/2006 4:43:45 PM PST by The_Republican
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To: IonInsights

"I'm sick of idiots like these. Send them up the river for many years of hard time."

Ditto that.


23 posted on 01/17/2006 4:45:32 PM PST by Old Grumpy
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To: The_Republican
Shouldn't we keep crimes in perspective?

Tell that to a lot of good folks who watched their hours get cut--or lost their jobs--when sales plummeted as a result of this scam. All of us here would love to see violent criminals facing actual sentences. Doesn't mean this couple should get a free pass--it just means we have a lot of problems on the bench and parole boards.

24 posted on 01/17/2006 4:55:09 PM PST by grellis (can't sleep clown will eat me)
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To: The_Republican
She has no one to speak up for her because she is poor and is not a celebrity.

So we should adjust our legal system to accomodate the poor and non-celebrity. I couldn't agree more. We need to use Martha Stewart as the benchmark. All the judge would have to do is think, "Hm... was this worse or better than what Martha Stewart did?" This would easily clear the backlogs of the judicial system and our society would resemble the Smurf Village.

I have an idea. Why don't you speak up for her? Y'know, help the downtrodden poor, getting the shaft from the system because she ain't Martha Stewart.

We can all laugh along the next time, when she finds a severed leg in her cereal box or a disembodied head in a gallon of milk.

APf

25 posted on 01/17/2006 5:06:43 PM PST by APFel (Loose ships sink lips.)
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To: NormsRevenge
the couple who masterminded the plot

Masterminded seems a bit grandious for this bumbling plot.
26 posted on 01/17/2006 5:08:36 PM PST by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: The_Republican
From Wikipedia...will provide link if needed:

In 1998, Ayala brought a lawsuit against her employer, San Jose-based La Oferta Review Newspaper Inc. for sexual harassment. The case was settled at an arbitration hearing in June 2002.

In 2000, she lost a suit against a San Jose car dealership, General Motors Corp., and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, claiming that a wheel fell off her car; the suit was dismissed "with prejudice" (meaning it cannot be refiled) after she fired her attorney and failed to show up in court or submit paperwork.

In 2004, Ayala claimed she had won a suit against fast-food restaurant chain El Pollo Loco in which she was awarded US$ 30,000 in damages for medical expenses after her daughter Genesis contracted Salmonella poisoning from eating at one of their Las Vegas-area restaurants. In mid-April 2004, El Pollo Loco spokeswoman Julie Weeks disputed this, saying that the company reviewed her claim and paid her nothing. [edit]

27 posted on 01/17/2006 5:09:57 PM PST by Jaidyn
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To: Old Grumpy

There's no such thing as hard time any more. I agree they need to pay for what they did and so does everybody else that did wrong!


28 posted on 01/17/2006 5:17:29 PM PST by heavenbound (Stop this world I want off !)
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29 posted on 01/17/2006 5:32:12 PM PST by heavenbound (Loose lips sink ships.Marked for life!)
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To: The_Republican

She should get the max.

Stop making excuses for the poor Grifter - she caused plenty of damage.

As far as "she has no one to speak up for her" - that is rich - she had fine access to lawyering when she knew she was pursueing a hoax for her profit with no regard to consequences.

I think they should attach her wages for life to repay the damage she caused.


30 posted on 01/17/2006 8:17:32 PM PST by Mr. Rational (God gave me a brain and expects me to use it)
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To: sarasmom

It never got to the point where they actually filed a lawsuit against Wendy's.

Either they were unmasked so quickly that they didn't have time, or they were just making a lot of noise in hopes that Wendy's would quickly write them a check without going to court.


31 posted on 01/18/2006 11:34:16 AM PST by jiggyboy (Ten percent of poll respondents are either lying or insane)
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To: The_Republican

Martha was never convicted of inside trading. She lied to a damn investigator, is all.


32 posted on 01/18/2006 12:07:45 PM PST by Safetgiver (Noone spoke when the levee done broke, Blanco cried and Nagin lied.)
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To: Safetgiver

just like Clinton - lied to an investigator.

BTW< for those who are curious, the woman got 9 years, the husband got 12, plus an order to pay thousands in restitution. no doubt will become a welfare mom when she gets out of prison.


33 posted on 01/19/2006 3:34:43 PM PST by KingofZion
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