Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
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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: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 17:06:58 2020

@lancecorp, the kind of people who think like that are the very same kind of people who would go to the same lengths. Animals that didn't evolve.

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Tue Jun 16 17:08:18 2020

@acc756

I saw unsuckeBay's Id and a few others he's had. As for some of the other names Wenig was called, I think there are many of us that used some of those terms on a regular basis. As for Executive 2. I think it's Fisher. He was second in command, so why not. They are all a very sick group and that crap flows from the top.  

Ina and David. My God what you've been through. I can't imagine how terrifying it would be to be stalked and harassed to such an extent. You two should be incredibly proud of how you stuck through all of this to get to this point. It must have been horrific.

Some of us have experienced eBay's targeting by employees or their trolls. I have had it happen twice.  Alan and his sick band  of merry men on the boards all need to go. He's been behind many criminal actions. Pretty odd that they were so bothered by a 63 year old woman (me) they felt they had to try to attack and ruin my business. Didn't work. Hahahaha

I hope this event is an opener for more action. This is one small part of a mountain filled with disgusting actions and deeds. It needs to be dug out and expunged.  

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 17:38:16 2020

I think some of you are vastly overstating your importance.....

Why would Ebay try to go after anyone posting on here? Bigger question is how would they know what seller accounts you have unless someone from this site gave them that info?

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Jun 16 17:55:35 2020

Clearly "Executive 1, and Executive 2" think WAY TOO MUCH of themselves.
BURN !

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 17:58:30 2020

@mjr55

If you read the criminal complaint, they mention posts from this site's comment section, and specifically unsuckebay's name, The complaint states "Executive 1" was upset at being called the devil, and a criminal. They wanted to find out these user's identities, and the people involved were IT security specialists. The leader even had a low level employee dig up dirt on a prosecutor in Arkansas who was prosecuting his father. They knew how to find information, it looks like legally and illegally. Wenig is an obvious sociopath, with his millions he could put out a real hit on someone.

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

by: ShortSeller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 18:08:04 2020

Some youtubers are part of ebay's influencer program and are paid directly to promote ebay's messaging. Make of that what you will.

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

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 18:10:02 2020

Well i guess unsuckebay was right. You can now say hes a criminal. These are the people running the company. This is why ebay is not doing good. They are mentally  deranged. And usually mentally deranged people dont make the best decisions.

I still cant believe they went this far. This is that a hole next door neighbor that keeps his shades down but peeps through to see what you are doing. All the while grinding his teeth because you are out enjoying yourself...., and he is inside like a psycho behind the shades.

I hope these people get jail time. They deserve it. They cant be seen getting away with something like this. It sets a bad example.

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

by: ShortSeller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 18:10:36 2020

@mjr55

IP addresses and emails of posters are an easy way to link posters to accounts, same method ebay has used in the past with forum accounts. How many sellers have received unwarranted policy violations and ebay has refused to discuss where they came from?  

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

by: redcabin This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 19:49:34 2020

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6945112-Ebay-Cyberstalking.htm
l#document/p1

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

by: redcabin This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 20:16:34 2020

sorry, that link doesn't work.

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 20:30:48 2020

@redcabin try this one: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6945112-Ebay-Cyberstalking.htm

l#document/p1
 

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

by: SFsales This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 20:43:02 2020

I have never commented on this blog even though I read it religiously. Thank you for all you do and your excellent work. I am so sorry EBAY put you through this. I know its only money but get a lawyer and sue them for all you can. I have gotten so disillusioned with selling on EBAY over the last few years and hope something besides Amazon comes along and takes EBAYs place. This is only more proof of the issues inside EBAY and why sellers are so upset. I know there are the EBAY cheerleaders who just go along but I am not one of them and this needs to end. Prayers and good wishes for the Steiner family and all you have had to go through.  

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

by: mazelgirl This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 21:55:34 2020

I had no idea this was you when I read the story yesterday.  The whole thing is just odd--eBay has lots of critics--but you got targeted.  You're not even critical--just factual.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 16 22:56:14 2020

The things you care about are the things you get done...
Wholesale removal of junk Chinese merchandise...nope.
Initiation of attacks on bloggers because of a thin-skinned CEO ...yep.

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This user has validated their user name. by: unsuck
Web Site

Tue Jun 16 23:05:34 2020

Frank Abagnale wrote, ''I wonder who ''Executive 2'' is from the report. Wenig left Sept 25. Julie Nestor (Chief Marketing Officer) left Sept 12. I wonder if it's a coincidence.''
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I strongly believe ''Executive 2'' to be Steve Wymer, eBay's former Chief Communications Officer (CCO).

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 17 00:14:16 2020

@shortseller and Shanna

I know IP's can easily be used to link accounts.....but I am talking about posts on this website. How could Ebay get IP info from who posts here unless David and Ina gave it to them (because presumably they are the only ones who have that info for their website)? The only other way is if posters here post too much info about themselves (such as linking to their website in their user ID, etc) to where it would be easy to link it to an Ebay ID?

Bottom line...they may have wanted to know who certain posters but I don't think there was ever any way for them to find that out.

Also, someone mentioned that some people are calling Ina and David "Karens". Eh, I disagree. It's one thing to send like a fake pig mask in the mail. It's a whole nother' stratosphere actually going to their house and trying to break into their garage. Forget jail......that will get you shot and killed in many states......

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This user has validated their user name. by: DZT

Wed Jun 17 01:02:19 2020

Wow...Just Wow

After 21 years on eBay I thought I had seen it all... but this one takes the cake.

What is even scarier is.....this is the company that will soon have direct & unfettered access to everyone's bank account with Managed Payments.

I don't even want to think about what kind of nefarious schemes they could potentially come up with once they have access to all of your private financial information.


.

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 17 02:35:22 2020

mjr55 said, "that will get you shot and killed in many states."

Hahaha! I was just thinking they should feel lucky it wasn't a Texas they were going after. We have signs everywhere that say "Don't Mess With Texas" telling people not to litter, but it has so much more meaning than that. LOL

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 17 02:41:25 2020

Okay, that was supposed to read "Texan", but oh well. I need new glasses because I looked straight at it and saw an 'n'.

Anywho, I forgot to say that, from what I have gathered, the Steiners were being pressured for that information about posters. I don't sell on eBay, but I wouldn't put it passed these kind of folks to have somebody in their pocket who would do something to negatively impact someone's business outside of eBay.

This whole story just makes me wonder if my suspicions are correct. I have been through it with the trolls at both Bonanza and Etsy -- and I no longer sell at either place.

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

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 17 04:24:37 2020

@DZT

That is exactly what scares me the most about Ebay having all of our information AND now controlling almost all aspects of our businesses on their site.  That is exactly why Wenig said that it was the only way anybody could sell on Ebay because HE WANTED total control of anybody who used Ebay.  This shows just how far he would have gone had he still been the CEO at Ebay when we all have to use Mangled Payments.  

Personally if I am still selling on Ebay by time this is forced on me, I will definitely get a totally separate bank account from any of my personal accounts and even separate from my other business transactions just so that Ebay cannot accidentally withdraw to much money or not give me what i should have gotten and have it cause other issues with my bank account.  This will be a completely stand alone account where Ebay can never get more from it than I allow them to have.  I didnt trust them before and after this demonstration of what lengths Ebay upper management will go to without the BOD ever  questioning anything, Ebay will never be able to earn my trust back, period.

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