"Tips for Jesus" Outed as Ex-PayPal's Jack Selby: Reports

Since September, Instagram user @tipsforjesus has been leaving tips ranging from $500 to $10,000 at restaurants across the country, and documenting their generosity through photos.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tips for Jesus Instagram page
    "Tips for Jesus" Instagram page

    Reports and rumors are surfacing, ever since a Silicon Valley blog first put it out there, that the mystery restaurant goer who leaves huge "Tips for Jesus" at restaurants around the country is former PayPal Vice President Jack Selby.

    Gawker news and Valleywag blogger Sam Biddle outed the tipper on Dec. 5, but didn't reveal a source or talk to Selby himself.

    Tips for Jesus Baffle Angelenos

    [LA] Tips for Jesus Baffle Angelenos
    Someone is leaving huge tips of $1,000 and more at Los Angeles eateries and then posting pictures of the servers with the receipts on a “Tips for Jesus” Instagram account. Mekahlo Medina reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. Tuesday December 3, 2013. (Published Tuesday, Dec 3, 2013)

    Then, on Tuesday, Aruj Dhawan, a waiter at Bo’s Kitchen in Chelsea told the New York Post that he received a $1,000 tip from a stranger he later identified as Selby.

    “A stranger comes in and drops a thousand dollars . . . I was just really thankful,” Dhuwan, 25, told the paper.

    One of the three NYC receipts had “Tips for Jesus’’ written across the bottom, while the other two came with a hand-scrawled “God bless!” and an ink-stamped “@tipsforjesus” — which happens to be the name on the anonymous Instagram account hosting photos of happy servers and their oversized gifts under the tagline, “Doing the Lord’s work, one tip at a time.”

    MORE: Tips for Jesus Mystery: Servers Across U.S. Left Huge Tips

    Selby, who left PayPal in 2002, now lists four titles on his LinkedIn page: Owner of GreenStreets Cleaners, managing director of Grandmaster Capital Management and Clarium Capital Management LLC, and maybe the most telling - as it relates to the mystery tipping - chairman of Incognito Pictures, all in San Francisco.

    Waiters across the country have been all atwitter since the fall, when a mystery do-gooder (or do-gooders?) began dropping wads of cash for wait staffs from coast to coast and leaving a trail of clues on Instagram and Facebook

    According to these posts, "Tips for Jesus"  visited San Francisco in November, including at the Harris Steakhouse on Van Ness Avenue. The waiter there declined to speak to NBC Bay Area, but a general manager said it was a "pair" of tipsters who left the waiter a  $1,500 tip left on a $468 bill on Nov. 19.  And in Michigan, Alley Bar owner Robbie Shulz told the Ann Arbor News that a "group" of people - college football fans - left the tips in early December.

    Selby couldn't be tracked down on Wednesday to confirm or deny his largesse. Calls and emails left at his various companies in San Francisco were not immediately returned.

     

     

     

     

     

    Bay City News contributed to this report.

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