10/20/2011 05:59 pm ET | Updated Dec 20, 2011

Frank Pence Pleads Guilty To Attempted Extortion Against Grippo's Potato Chip Company

It turns out the bucket was half empty.

An Ohio man accused of attempting to extort tens of thousands of dollars from the Grippo's Potato Chip Co. pleaded guilty to charges on Wednesday and now faces up to three years in prison, according to Cincinnati Enquirer.

Last July, Frank Pence managed to steal files, checks, and vehicle titles from a Grippo's facility in Colerain Township before leaving behind a note demanding $22,000 in $100 bills be left in a bucket behind a vacant nearby supermarket. In exchange for the cash, Pence said he would return the documents and not publicize personal details contained in them.

But when the time came to make the drop-off, police filled the bucket with a pile of fake dough. As Pence tried to reel in the bucket with a fishing line, the cops followed the money trail and arrested the 47-year-old, who had long been a primary suspect.

"He's an ex-employee, (and) he knows where the cameras are," officer Mark Denny told WLWT in July. "He avoided being detected during the actual burglary, but quickly after the report his name came up as a possible suspect."

Pence insisted upon his innocence at the time of his arrest, according to WCPO-9.