SAN JOSE – A former San Jose Earthquakes Stadium manager has been charged with intentionally deleting the menu and payment options from point-of-sale concessions terminals on opening day of the 2020 Major League Soccer season, resulting in a loss of nearly $270,000 and inconveniencing thousands of fans, according to court records.
The defendant, identified as San Jose resident Salvatore A. La Rosa, was employed by Philadelphia-based Spectra Food Services and Hospitality, the stadium’s concessions provider, from Feb. 14, 2015, until his termination on Jan. 6, 2020, and most recently held the position of operations and premium services manager, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a criminal complaint filed in San Jose on Tuesday.
Prior to kick-off on Feb. 29, the first day of the season, a small number of workers could not operate their point-of-sale terminals. At first, the workers were unable to complete credit card transactions or open cash drawers. Then menu items, prices and inventory could not be accessed on the terminals. Workers reset their terminals in an effort to remedy the issue, but the move caused more terminals to become unusable.
“As a consequence, the staff had to handwrite orders, use calculators to facilitate cash transactions, and received unwanted verbal abuse from customers,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Knight wrote in the complaint. “In some instances, Spectra had to provide free food and beverages to club members because of the lack of credit card processing.”
Spectra ultimately suffered more than $268,000 in damages, according to the complaint.
The complaint alleges Salvatore accessed Spectra’s account at Bypass Mobile, an Austin, Texas-based company that provides online menu and payment applications for stadiums, and “transmitted programs, information, codes and commands” to delete menu and payment options for the stadium, resulting in the shutdown of all 204 terminals.
Court documents did not specify a motive for the alleged crime.
No attorney was listed for Salvatore and Knight could not be immediately reached Tuesday night.
If convicted of the charge, Salvatore faces up to 10 year in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
Salvatore is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Nov. 16, according to court records.