Ex-Employee Charged as Spy Cameras are Found in Expedia’s Headquarters Bathrooms

Key Takeaways
– Marcelo F. Vargas-Fernandez, a former employee at Expedia Group, is accused of planting spy cameras in two company bathrooms.
– Footage from an Expedia Group security camera showed Vargas-Fernandez carrying devices similar to those found under the sinks.
– Amazon.com records confirm Vargas-Fernandez had purchased similar cameras.
– Over 33 additional concealed cameras were discovered in Vargas-Fernandez’s apartment.
– A specially trained dog assisted in uncovering some of the hidden equipment.

New Details Emerge

In a shocking development, former Expedia Group employee, Marcelo F. Vargas-Fernandez is now facing charges of voyeurism. These allegations stem from the discovery of spy cameras in two of the bathrooms located at Expedia Group’s headquarters on the Seattle waterfront. The cameras were deployed between December and January.

Authorities arrested the 42-year-old Lynnwood man on February 1. A thorough search of his apartment led to the revelation of another 33 hidden cameras. The assistance of a specially trained electronics-sniffing dog was instrumental in finding some of these devices.

Vargas-Fernandez is now charged with four counts of first-degree voyeurism and will be arraigned on Thursday, 15 February, before the King County Superior Court in Seattle.

Denial and Evidence

Though the accused denied any involvement at the onset, the mounting pile of evidence tilts significantly against him. Charles R. Varni, representing Vargas-Fernandez, has yet to comment on the ongoing legal proceedings.

Key evidence aiding investigators includes images from an Expedia Group security camera. These pictures reportedly show the defendant entering and exiting the bathrooms while carrying devices similar to the cameras found beneath the sinks.

Additional evidence from Amazon.com records confirms the purchase of cameras matching those found in the restrooms, dating back to October of last year.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

The saga began after cameras were first discovered in early December and inexplicably vanished. Riding a wave of events initiated in January, Vargas-Fernandez’s arrest was the ensuing climax.

The surveillance cameras were intentionally aimed at the bathroom’s toilet, according to the prosecuting attorney. This vile act allowed Vargas-Fernandez to capture unsuspecting victims in their most private moments.

Expedia Group has since committed to ensuring the privacy, safety, and security of both its employees and any guests who frequent their offices. The company revealed that the accused is no longer an employee with them.

Electronic Dog Bolsters Investigation

Investigators confiscated Vargas-Fernandez’s equipment, including multiple spy cameras, SD cards, and several hard drives boasting a massive storage capacity. The state expressed concern that more venues may have fallen victim to his illegal surveillance activities.

The electronics-sniffing dog, Trinity was a valuable asset in this case. Much like other dogs that are trained to detect drugs or explosives, Trinity’s unique skill set helped to reveal the presence of hidden cameras.

Illegal Footage

Through the seized footage, investigators have so far identified at least 10 victims. With the ongoing review of additional electronic evidence, it is highly likely they will identify more victims.

Remaining Controversy

Vargas-Fernandez evinced his ability to interfere with the administration of justice by removing the cameras after their discovery. Later, he reinstalled them and was seen asking witnesses about the incident, expressing unnatural curiosity about the ongoing situation.

King County Prosecutors are now seeking $200,000 bail, electronic home monitoring if a bond is posted, and internet and camera possession restrictions.