SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A San Jose man has been sentenced to federal prison after admitting to a computer hack that brought down stadium concessions during a San Jose Earthquakes soccer match last year, prosecutors said.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 41-year-old Salvatore La Rosa was sentenced to 20 months and was ordered to pay $268,733 in restitution after pleading guilty to the hack earlier this year. La Rosa was also sentenced to a three-year period of supervised release.
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Prosecutors said La Rosa worked for the company Spectra Food Services & Hospitality, which provides concessions at Earthquakes games. The company uses tablets as point of sale terminals to sell food, drinks and other items.
After La Rosa was terminated from his job in early 2020, prosecutors said he logged into the administrative portal for Earthquakes Stadium from his home and deleted menu and payment selections.
The deletions caused the company’s tablets to stop working during the team’s home opener on February 29, 2020, prosecutors said. Workers were then forced to handwrite orders and use calculators to complete cash transactions, which led to delays, lost sales and anger among customers. Spectra also gave out free food to some club members, since they were not able to process credit card transactions.
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Following the incident, Spectra offered a 50% discount on all concessions at the following home game on March 7, 2020, the last game at the stadium before the season was suspended several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to coronavirus restrictions at the time, the team’s remaining home games in 2020 were played without fans in attendance.
Prosecutors said that Spectra suffered $268,733 in damages due to lost revenue, concession discounts, employee time to repair damage, along with labor costs.
Following an FBI investigation, La Rosa was charged with intentional damage to a protected computer in October of last year. He pled guilty in February.
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La Rosa remains out of custody on bond and will begin serving his sentence July 28, prosecutors said.