Tammy Steffen, 37 (pictured), from Pasco, Florida, was sentenced to five years in prison for creating 369 fake Instagram accounts to troll rival bodybuilders
A fitness influencer and bikini model has been sentenced to five years in prison after creating 369 fake Instagram accounts to troll rival bodybuilders
Tammy Steffen, 37, from Pasco, Florida, pleaded guilty in December to charges of cyberstalking and sending threatening messages online, reported The Washington Post.
According to FBI special agents, Steffen, a trainer and mother-of-four, created the fake accounts using 18 email addresses to harass and intimidate her former business partner and her alleged rivals.
In one message she wrote: ‘I plan to slice you up into little pieces. Your blood shall I taste.’
Authorities say Steffen was caught by police after she made her 12-year-old daughter lie in July 2018 that she had been kidnapped from their home.
Steffen (left and right) called, texted and messaged at least six people over two years, writing messages such as: ‘I plan to slice you up into little pieces. Your blood shall I taste.’ She then decided to exact revenge against her ex-business partner, believing he had caused her to lose an online fitness competition, s
According to the Department of Justice, Steffen contacted at least six people over two years via phone calls, text messages, emails and messages on social media.
She allegedly made threats against their lives as well as the lives of their family and friends, reported the Post.
In one text message, according to a police report, she wrote: ‘All hell is gonna rain fire down on your world like never seen before.’
In another message, she sent a photograph of a woman holding two knives along with the caption: ‘I’m coming.’
However, her revenge scheme didn’t stop there. Believing her ex-business partner had caused her to lose an online fitness competition, she wanted to get back at him.
On July 14, 2018, Steffen (pictured) called police, claiming a kidnap attempt on her 12-year-old daughter from their home and blamed her ex-business partner
Police became suspicious after the ex-business partner had an airtight alibi and Steffen’s daughter asked ‘what would happen to [her mother] if she told the truth.’ Pictured: Steffen
Steffen called police on July 9, 2018 and alleged that she had found a headless doll left on her front porch with a note inside that said: ‘New toy for the kids.’
On July 14, she called police again, claiming that a man had grabbed her daughter’s arm and tried to pull her into the woods behind her house, reported WFLA.
When deputies arrived, Steffen said the man had abandoned the kidnapping attempt and fled, and pointed out the area in her backyard.
In the backyard, investigators found a laptop case containing a notepad filled with detailed information about Steffen and her home.
She told police that she suspected her ex-business partner, with whom she used to own a gym in Tampa, of being the suspect, according to WFLA.
When police contacted Steffen’s business partner, he quickly provided an airtight alibi: he’d been in Tampa at the time of the kidnapping, and surveillance footage proved it.
When they questioned the daughter again, she asked ‘what would happen to [her mother] if she told the truth.’
Steffen was arrested and charged her with filing a false police report, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and tampering with a witness. Pictured: Steffen, left, with her husband
After discovering the harassment, Steffen (pictured) was also charged with cyberstalking and sending threatening messages online
Suspicious, detectives reviewed Steffen’s cell phone, and found messages she’d sent accusing the business partner of sabotaging her in an online photo contest.
Digging deeper, they found Walmart surveillance video that showed Steffen purchasing a laptop case like the one left at the alleged crime scene. She paid for the case with cash but other items with credit cards, police say.
Steffen was arrested and charged her with filing a false police report, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and tampering with a witness.
Once she was taken into custody, Steffen was recorded calling her daughter to urge her to tell police that the kidnapping plot had been the daughter’s idea, according to an arrest affidavit.
After discovering her online threats, she was also charged with stalking and cyberbullying.