Saturday, April 23, 2005

Woman arrested in Wendy's chili/finger hoax

A woman who said she bit into a severed human finger while spooning into fast-food chili at a San Jose Wendy's last month was arrested after investigators found inconsistencies in her story of the gruesome discovery, officials said Friday.

Anna Ayala, 39, was arrested Thursday night at her Las Vegas home on a charge of attempted grand larceny, including a penalty enhancement for inflicting more than $2.5 million in losses on Wendy's. She also was charged with grand larceny in an alleged real-estate swindle not related to the Wendy's case.

The arrest ends a public-relations nightmare for the national burger chain, which saw sales plunge at least 30 percent at its San Jose-area franchises after the March 22 report.

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