Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon June 15 2020 13:24:33

Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

By: DOJ and eBay press releases

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Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking Campaign Targeting Natick Couple

BY: Department of Justice Press Release

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 15, 2020

Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking Campaign Targeting Natick Couple

BOSTON – Six former employees of eBay, Inc. have been charged with leading a cyberstalking campaign targeting the editor and publisher of a newsletter that eBay executives viewed as critical of the company. The alleged harassment included sending the couple anonymous, threatening messages, disturbing deliveries – including a box of live cockroaches, a funeral wreath and a bloody pig mask – and conducting covert surveillance of the victims. 

James Baugh, 45, of San Jose, Calif., eBay’s former Senior Director of Safety & Security, was arrested today and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.

David Harville, 48, of New York City, eBay’s former Director of Global Resiliency, was arrested this morning in New York City on the same charges and will make an initial appearance via videoconference in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York.

In addition the following defendants were charged in an Information unsealed today: Stephanie Popp, 32, of San Jose, eBay’s former Senior Manager of Global Intelligence; Stephanie Stockwell, 26, of Redwood City, Calif., the former manager of eBay’s Global Intelligence Center (GIC); Veronica Zea, 26, of San Jose, a former eBay contractor who worked as an intelligence analyst in the GIC; and Brian Gilbert, 51, of San Jose, a former Senior Manager of Special Operations for eBay’s Global Security Team. They are each charged with  conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and will make appearances in federal court in Boston at a later date. 

According to the charging documents, the victims of the cyberstalking campaign were a Natick couple who are the editor and publisher of an online newsletter that covers ecommerce companies, including eBay, a multinational ecommerce business that offers platforms for consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer transactions. Members of the executive leadership team at eBay followed the newsletter’s posts, often taking issue with its content and the anonymous comments underneath the editor’s stories. 

It is alleged that in August 2019, after the newsletter published an article about litigation involving eBay, two members of eBay’s executive leadership team sent or forwarded text messages suggesting that it was time to “take down” the newsletter’s editor.

In response, Baugh, Harville, Popp, Gilbert, Zea, Stockwell, and others allegedly executed a three-part harassment campaign. Among other things, several of the defendants ordered anonymous and disturbing deliveries to the victims’ home, including a preserved fetal pig, a bloody pig Halloween mask, a funeral wreath, a book on surviving the loss of a spouse, and pornography – the last of these addressed to the newsletter’s publisher but sent to his neighbors’ homes.

As part of the second phase of the campaign, some of the defendants allegedly sent private Twitter messages and public tweets criticizing the newsletter’s content and threatening to visit the victims in Natick. The documents allege that Baugh, Gilbert, Popp and another eBay security employee planned these messages to become increasingly disturbing, culminating with “doxing” the victims (i.e., publishing their home address). It is alleged that the very same group intended then to have Gilbert, a former Santa Clara police captain, approach the victims with an offer to help stop the harassment that the defendants were secretly causing, in an effort to promote good will towards eBay, generate more favorable coverage in the newsletter, and identify the individuals behind the anonymous comments.

The third phase of the campaign allegedly involved covertly surveilling the victims in their home and community. According to the complaint, Harville and Zea registered for a software development conference to explain their trip to Boston on Aug. 15, 2019. Baugh, Harville, and Zea (and later Popp) allegedly drove to the victims’ home in Natick several times, with Harville and Baugh intending at one point to break into the victims’ garage and install a GPS tracking device on their car. As protection in the event they were stopped by local police, Baugh and Harville allegedly carried false documents purporting to show that they were investigating the victims as “Persons of Interest” who had threatened eBay executives. The victims spotted the surveillance, however, and notified the Natick police, who began to investigate. The police learned that Zea had rented one of the cars used by the defendants and reached out to eBay for assistance.

Aware that the police were investigating, the defendants allegedly sought to interfere with the investigation by lying to the police about eBay’s involvement while pretending to offer the company’s assistance with the harassment, as well as by lying to eBay’s lawyers about their involvement. At one point, for example, Baugh, Gilbert, Popp, and Stockwell allegedly plotted to fabricate another eBay “Person of Interest” document that could be offered to the police as a lead on some of the harassing deliveries. As the police and eBay’s lawyers continued to investigate, the defendants allegedly deleted digital evidence that showed their involvement, further obstructing what had by then become a federal investigation.

The charges of conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses each carry a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Natick Chief of Police James G. Hicks made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Seth B. Kosto and David J. D’Addio of Lelling’s Securities, Financial and Cyber Fraud Unit are prosecuting the case. 

The details contained in charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Link to Press Release on Department of Justice website.

eBay Inc. Issues Statement Regarding Indictments of Previously Terminated Employees

BY: eBay Press Release

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) today commented on indictments separately announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts against several former eBay employees. Neither the Company nor any current eBay employee was indicted. In order to preserve the integrity of the government’s investigation, eBay did not previously communicate about this matter. In light of today’s public announcement by the government, eBay is now addressing this matter publicly. 

eBay was notified by law enforcement in August 2019 of suspicious actions by its security personnel toward a blogger, who writes about the Company, and her husband. eBay immediately launched a comprehensive investigation, which was conducted with the assistance of outside legal counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. As a result of the investigation, eBay terminated all involved employees, including the Company’s former Chief Communications Officer, in September 2019.

The independent special committee formed by eBay’s Board of Directors to oversee the Company’s investigation into this matter said, “eBay took these allegations very seriously from the outset. Upon learning of them, eBay moved quickly to investigate thoroughly and take appropriate action. The Company cooperated fully and extensively with law enforcement authorities throughout the process. eBay does not tolerate this kind of behavior. eBay apologizes to the affected individuals and is sorry that they were subjected to this. eBay holds its employees to high standards of conduct and ethics and will continue to take appropriate action to ensure these standards are followed.”

The Company noted that the internal investigation also examined what role, if any, the Company’s CEO at the time of the incident, Devin Wenig, may have had in this matter. The internal investigation found that, while Mr. Wenig’s communications were inappropriate, there was no evidence that he knew in advance about or authorized the actions that were later directed toward the blogger and her husband. However, as the Company previously announced, there were a number of considerations leading to his departure from the Company.

Link to statement on the eBayInc.com website.

Comments (279) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 13:04:53 2020

Tool

While I appreciate your concern - nothing has happened to me - Im fine.

1) Id bet everything I own (cant prove it but based on how things work in San Jose) that there are WAY MORE people involved then just the sloppy 6 and DW

2) Im sure that DW hid enough/covered his tracks enough - I wouldnt take your bet - Id agree - DW never spends a night in jail

3) this entire episode proves what kind of company eBay really is (for gods sake just concentrate on moving boxes not building bars and stalking people) and what kind of people they have working for them.

4) Im sure that eBay gets its "last licks" when it comes to my account - I used to do 5-10x more then I do now on eBay - and I have the same or better items... As well there was a good stretch of time where I would get VEROd over and over again - same items, same issues, same companies - even though I followed eBays OWN T&S guidelines and followed EVERY current US law applicable - went on for 6 months - but nothing is provable.

In my case - it started when I told anyone that would listen that eBay was feeding 3 different companies info on sellers listings/accounts so that they could have listings removed. The biggest was when they were forced to admit that verowatch.com was eBay itself and not a 3p company doing IP protection. eBay denied it then the website when dark.

When I tell you that eBay is the San Jose Mafia .... theres a reason.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Tue Jun 16 13:10:56 2020

I'm not a hothead by nature but **** EBAY!!!!!!!!!

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Tue Jun 16 13:14:46 2020

Such a toxic disgusting group of people. I hope they get the maximum 5 years and fine. Too bad it's not longer.

James Baugh, David Harville, Stephanie Popp, Stephanie Stockwell, Veronica Zea, Brian Gilbert

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: toastedmutt This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 13:21:12 2020

Adding my support and concern for Ina & David. What a horror to endure.  So sorry you became victims of these thugs.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jun 16 13:50:00 2020

@Frank Abagnale - Don't forget 60 Minutes.  

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: acc756 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 14:00:01 2020

@iheartjacksparrow "...figure out the identity of one particularly vociferous commenter."

The full criminal complaint gives several honorable mentions to UnsuckEBay. :) It's a long read, but definitely worth the time.  It is disturbing.

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: Eric Saeger This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 14:05:28 2020

Hole. E. Crow.
I had no idea they were doing this to you guys. I'm so sorry, Ina and David. Proud as heck of you for going all the way with it.
Just... wow. Very best of luck.

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 14:17:09 2020

@iheartjacksparrow

I didn't include 60 Minutes because usually the story segments on that show are only 20 minutes long. This story needs a full hour or two.  

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: thriftyone This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 14:50:54 2020

can someone provide a link to the full criminal complaint?

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Jun 16 15:12:21 2020

@thriftyone

Could not find the actual court document but did find this release from Department of Justice /  U.S. Attorney’s Office/ District of Massachusetts which details the investigation.


https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/six-forme
r-ebay-employees-charged-aggressive-cyberstalking-campaign-targeting-natick

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 15:18:24 2020

@thriftyone

To read the 56 page document go to wired.com. Find the ebay article and it's in the article.  

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: glasspackaging This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 15:48:42 2020

My heart goes out to y ou guys for what eBay put you through... wonder who will roll over on Wenig first to make a deal? ...  rot from the top down - for years -

No question in my mind my accounts were throttled due to my avid participation on their boards, this just confirms the mentality that they would do so to sellers who were vocal in disgust over some of their practices,.... why do I say this? ... same product sales for years on eBay became 15% of prior history - while doing 50 times more on Amazon alone ... says it all ....  

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 15:52:57 2020

@thriftyone

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6944865/
DOCS.pdf

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jun 16 15:57:44 2020

@Marie

You and I are probably 2 of the most pro eBay posters here.

Did either of us get privileged treatment from eBay? hahahahahahaha

I still can't post on the forums! and I still have to pay eBay fee's. . . . .

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: thriftyone This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 16:17:04 2020

Thanks to all who responded!

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 16:19:10 2020

I just made a inquiry to GM's ceo asking about why is wenig is still on the BOD.

the more that contact her may get the delusional idiot kicked of the board

mary.barra@gm.com

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jun 16 16:36:35 2020

Bookmark and keep your eyes on this page.

Devin will be off this page before the announcement is made.

https://www.gm.com/our-company/leadership/board-of-direct
ors.html

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: thriftyone This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 16:43:37 2020

for anyone wanting to read the full complaint; here is the link: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6945112-Ebay-Cyberstalking.htm
l#document/p1
 
Crazy, that this site became the target of a huge corporation....like they did not have larger things to worry about.....so sorry that you guys had to endure this....

Perminate Link for Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..   Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking..

by: lancecorp This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 16:47:16 2020

I can't believe the amount of people I've seen that think what happened to David and Ina was no big deal and calling them Karens. One was a DCpicker on youtube - then you have others on Ebay for business that could care as long as their sales don't suffer.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jun 16 16:51:03 2020

Off Topic (pass if you aren't interested)

message from ebayshippingsupplies
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Than
k
you for your message and inquiry about padded AirJacket envelopes. As you may know, eBay provided all store subscribers a bonus coupon starting June 8th as appreciation for staying open and selling during these difficult times. The response was overwhelming, and the demand for AirJackets was significantly higher than eBay anticipated.

Additional inventory will be arriving in July as both raw material and manufacturing capacity for AirJackets were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be limited stock through July, and added immediately when the inventory arrives at our distribution centers.

If you subscribe to and follow our store we will be sending out notices when Air Jackets return.

https://www.ebay.com/str/ebayshippingsupplies

Si
ncerely,

Jason
Valcourt
Customer Service Manager
eBayshippingsupplies

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