Fitness Expert Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Cyberstalking And Kidnapping Plot

Photo: instagram
Who Is Tammy Steffen? Fitness Expert Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison For Cyberstalking And Kidnapping Plot

When we’re looking for a new television show, while some may turn to reality TV, others are set on soap operas. They’ve over-the-top, a little crazy, and could be considered a guilty pleasure, but rarely do we ever think soap operas can happen in real life. You know, aside from the amnesia and time travel components.

Who is Tammy Steffen? The fitness expert took things to a new level of crazy when, in July 2018, she called police to report that someone left a headless doll on her front porch with a message that said “New toy for the kids.” She also led police to a laptop case that contained personal information on Steffen.

A few days later, she called 911 to report that her 12-year-old daughter was the victim of an attempted abduction. Steffan named her former business colleague as the suspect, and authorities used dogs and helicopters to search the woods, where the criminal allegedly disappeared.

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But investigators eventually discovered that things weren’t as they seemed. 

The abduction, it turns out, was completely fabricated. It was an attempt to prevent her colleague from sabotaging Steffen’s chances of winning an online fitness competition. They became suspicious when her daughter “questioned what would happen to [her mother] if she told the truth.” Surveillance videos from Walmart also showed that Steffan purchased the laptop and planted the headless doll.

Pasco County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kevin Doll said, “You get false reports quite frequently. To the extent that this woman went? Not to that extent. And from what she claims is the reason for doing it, that’s even more puzzling. You’re talking 10 to 20 people for a number of days investigating this and subsequent reports that she had made.”

FBI special agent Kristin Rehler added, “The extent of her crime is astounding. In addition to sending threatening messages online, she spoofed calls, she also used voice disguising software.”

Days after the false abduction, Steffen was charged with tampering with evidence, child neglect, and filing a false police report. She was additionally charged with witness tampering after calling her daughter from jail and advising her to claim responsibility for the kidnapping plot.

Photo: Pasco County Sheriff’s Office

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In November, Steffan was charged with cyberstalking. Because along with a fabricated abduction, Steffen also created 369 fake Instagram accounts on 18 different email addresses to harass her ex-business partner! One of the messages read, “I plan to slice you up into little pieces. Your blood shall I taste.” 

A criminal complaint states she sent messages to individual victims, including her former business partner. She threatened their lives, professional careers, and families. “All hell is gonna rain fire down on your world like never seen before. You have picked the wrong person to mess with. You have no idea what you’ve done. I will be catching the next flight to Michigan out of here,” another message said.

According to the FBI in a Washington Post article, Steffan called a business owner so many times that “the company was unable to receive calls from customers. She also changed the business’s voice-mail message to ‘sounds of a sexual nature, including people moaning in the background.’”

And on Friday, months after being charged for cyberstalking, she pleaded guilty to federal charges and received five years in prison.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.