The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern California District announced that Salvatore La Rosa, who formerly was a contract manager for concessions at Earthquakes Stadium has pleaded guilty to accusations that he sabotaged the menus and payments systems at the stadium last year on opening day.
According to the Mercury News, La Rosa’s actions on February 20th, 2020 cost his employer Spectra Food Services and Hospitality around $270,000 because fans were unable to buy food during the packed soccer match.
Spectra is in charge of all stadium concessions services at Earthquakes Stadium.
The Mercury News reports that the crime happened almost 2 months after La Rosa was fired from his contract manager position at Spectra.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office posted a press release explaining how La Rosa was able to use his credentials as a former Spectra manager to effectively log into an app that runs the menu and payment systems within Earthquake stadium’s 204 concessions terminals.
The press release states:
"During his unauthorized access, he intentionally deleted Spectra’s concession menu and payment selections. This act caused all of the Point-of-Sale tablets used by Spectra’s staff to stop working. Spectra’s ability to accept credit cards was also disabled. Spectra’s staff had to resort to handwriting orders and using calculators to complete cash transactions, with the resulting delay leading to lost sales and verbal abuse from customers. In some instances, Spectra had to provide free food and beverages to club members because of its inability to process credit card transactions.”
In an attempt to regain the trust of fans, Spectra and the Earthquakes offered 50% off all concessions during a game on March 7th.
Spectra includes the losses suffered that day as well as during the February 20th game when it tallied up its final total of $268,000 in damages. Part of that figure also includes the time it took Spectra and Earthquakes employees to repair the damage to the data systems.
La Rosa pleaded guilty to a single count of ‘Intentional Damage to a Protected Computer’ and is scheduled to be sentenced for the charge on May 19th. He faces the possibility of a 10-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine plus restitution, and he is currently out on bail.