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: NotDevinWenig This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 17 07:26:22 2020

Wenig and cohorts were psychopaths running amok without any control - financial, moral, or from the BOD.  The GTC change was a disaster but I imagine that was intentional - brought in knowing full well the destruction it would cause.

After the anti-democratic attacks on journalists, the fact Wenig is on the GM board is a travesty and reflects awfully on that corporation.

Personally I'm fairly convinced that things got so bad, Wenig was finishing off long time sellers on eBay purely for personal gratification - getting off on terminating seller accounts - these actions appeared to escalate when he knew his days were numbered, much like when Hitler was confined to his bunker.  This guy is a nasty and eBay should take significant measures to fixing the damage, not carrying on like it never happened.

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.

Wed Jun 17 08:33:42 2020

We need an organized news campaign to have him removed from the GM board.

Organizing works for others - it’s time for us to have Ina & David’s backs and get that piece of trash removed for his cushy no show job.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jun 17 10:52:29 2020

"Wenig was finishing off long time sellers on eBay purely for personal gratification - getting off on terminating seller accounts"

A CEO deleting common seller accounts! ROTFLMAO

"We need an organized news campaign to have him removed from the GM board."

Do you own GM stock? or even drive a GM product?

What you suggest is probably just as ILLEGAL as the stocking was against the Steiners. . . . .

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.

Wed Jun 17 11:07:51 2020

Totally agree with Pace's last reply. We all owe Ina and David a huge debt of gratitude for giving us a place to vent, for having our backs, and for dealing with all of our depthless, often justified negativity. I wouldn't be able to stand it day after day.
Point being I forgot to mention it last post, but many, many thanks guys. You are true fighters, and I for one really, really appreciate your efforts.

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

Wed Jun 17 11:22:04 2020

Cripes sakes Tool, what is wrong with you? If that team of dummies would literally commit criminal threatening against the Steiners at the assumed behest of a top dog, exactly what would dissuade them from tweaking a Cassini setting to demonetize one or more sellers who complain about stuff? I mean, your trolling act is totally old, but do you have any life whatsoever, aside from triggering a few eBay sellers with spurious devils-advocating? You should be bounced put of here for good, dude, is what I think.

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Wed Jun 17 11:29:52 2020

@mjr55

When I mentioned being harassed by eBay trolls and employees,  it was in no relation to this website. It had to do with my participation on the eBay boards and several people on there taking a strong dislike to me. That dig about self-importance was unnecessary and rude.

Even with today's cyber security, if someone wants to get information, they will.

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.

Wed Jun 17 11:31:05 2020

Tool - please try and THINK before you post

"Wenig was finishing off long time sellers on eBay purely for personal gratification - getting off on terminating seller accounts"

A CEO deleting common seller accounts! ROTFLMAO

"We need an organized news campaign to have him removed from the GM board."

Do you own GM stock? or even drive a GM product?

What you suggest is probably just as ILLEGAL as the stocking was against the Steiners. . . . .

1) eBay through its fake verowatch.com website went to manufacturers and offered them (info for sale) access to eBay listings "at root level" to find "victims" they could pull listings on. Your "theory" that a company doesnt work against itself - even in just this case alone - proves you dont understand how things work. Offering companies like Skullcandy free stuff (plat level stores, ALWAYS first in search and the elimination of other sellers) for money - was a big business for them - till they got caught (by me and others).

As well, eBay routinely hurts sellers for no good reason 24/7 - so what point are you (in)correctly trying to make?

2) yes - he should be removed by GM. If GM values its reputation - shouldnt a "man" (in the loosest state of the word) who was involved in stalking, threatening and harassing innocent people no be associated with them?

3) theres nothing wrong with leaning on people - with in the bounds of the law. You care CERTAINLY allowed to organize a letter writing campaign OR having a criminal rights group pressure GM to drop him. We arent going to send GM a bloody pigs head.

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: Covid-20

Wed Jun 17 11:54:34 2020

@Tool
𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒔𝒖𝒈𝒈𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒃𝒂𝒃𝒍𝒚 𝒋𝒖𝒔𝒕 𝒂𝒔 𝑰𝑳𝑳𝑬𝑮𝑨𝑳 𝒂𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒄𝒌𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒕𝒆𝒊𝒏𝒆𝒓𝒔. . . . .

WRONG.
It depends on how you implement it. There's a civil way of doing things in
''Un-seating'' someone from a position. Pace didn't mention sending a horses head or a traveling sex-act to Wenig's house, did he?.

Run along and go have a cup of tea with Marie now.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jun 17 11:57:53 2020

@Eric Saeger

I live in the United States of America where someone is presumed innocent until proven guilty!

You sound like a "lynch" mob. . . .You can't conspire to have someone removed from there job until you have proof of their guilt.

I like David & Ina, been here for longer then most.

I was banned for years and they let me back in, doesn't that tell you something?

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: Covid-20

Wed Jun 17 11:59:15 2020

@Tool

"𝑨 𝑪𝑬𝑶 𝒅𝒆𝒍𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒐𝒏 𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒄𝒄𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒕𝒔! 𝑹𝑶𝑻𝑭𝑳𝑴𝑨𝑶"

I am sure prior to all of this you never would have imagined six dirt-bag individuals from a monolithic corporation like Ebay doing the things they did either though, eh?  

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jun 17 12:04:19 2020

@Covid-20

To even mention eBay to the GM board about Wenig would be wrong.

If this were a solid case he wouldn't still be on the GM board and in fact would be wearing bracelets.

GM isn't stupid, they know they need take this slowly and not make a rash decision. . .

Wenig still could be arrested, but CEO's don't get arrested very often.

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

Wed Jun 17 12:11:39 2020

@Covid-20

I'm not a bit surprised about all of this.

Maybe you are but I'm not.

I think eBay went way too far when they started terrorizing the Steins.

They'll be compensated for this. . . . . .I wonder if they'll ever tell us how much eBay had to pay.

But most of the time they have them sign a non disclosure agreement

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

by: abfab This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 17 13:13:45 2020

Ina and David, so sorry you had to deal with this. Please stay safe.  

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

by: Bird Mad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 17 13:23:03 2020

Ina,

It would be amazing if you wrote a book about this!  I would definitely buy a copy. You might be able to interview the FBI investigators, the police and could ask to see investigative notes.  

My father wrote a book 30 years ago and we still get residual checks!

I am so glad the police took you seriously and got involved.

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

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 17 13:49:27 2020

“ You should be bounced put of here for good, dude, is what I think.“

No, that’s kind of the point here. Freedom of expression, no matter how myopic, uninformed, baiting, attention seeking, tiresome, pointless...or just good ol’ incorrect. As long as it’s civil.

Even on eBay. As long as the ‘opinion’ (FB in the case) isn’t treated as objective fact for the purpose of manipulation, if one wishes to defend that freedom, it requires taking the good with the bad.

See, that was the root of this poison weed - eBay could spew it out (by proxy), but they couldn’t face it. Probably because the ‘concerns’ directed at them were not just potentially damaging, but more importantly, truth based. Because if not, then what was the problem that needed eradicating by such nefarious means? If such were libelous, they have plenty of legal retention to address them.

Instead they chose the dirt path, with systemic hypocrisy as their guide. Disadvantaging those who ‘disagreed’ or provided the soapbox rivaling that under their boot, where they could Censor those who would speak truth to peer and power. And now, conspiring to silence by fear and intimidation...and something about ... socks?

Talk about your hysterical floor rolling.

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

by: bpm This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 17 14:23:32 2020

Good God! Ina, I just hope your lawsuit settlement is not-unadjacent to, umm, perhaps, $57 million? Seems like a nice round figure......

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by: Certicable This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 17 14:26:37 2020

https://www.wired.com/story/ebay-employees-charged-cyberstalking-haras
sment-campaign/
The
whole story is here.
''While the complaint does not identify the victims by name, it cites specific headlines and stories that indicate that Baugh and his team were after the husband and wife publishers of EcommerceBytes.''
This is just horrible!!

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.

Wed Jun 17 14:49:25 2020

Tool said, "To even mention eBay to the GM board about Wenig would be wrong."

Only if it were eBay (his former employer) telling GM (his prospective/new employer) things that would keep him from being hired or cause him to be fired. A group of civilians against criminals like him having any such power at any level anywhere is a whole other story. Just ask anyone who's been fired or publicly ostracized for their deviant behavior.

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.

Wed Jun 17 15:25:43 2020

@Tool

Ever heard of people doing crazy, stupid, racist, or illegal stuff and it going viral, and then people demanding they be fired? That's what we are doing to the Devil David Wenig. I hope his wife reads this and pitches a fit, like she did when she emailed one of the suspects and asked them to take this website down.

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

by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 17 15:27:17 2020

Executive 1: Devin Wenig
Executive 2: Steve Wymer

eBay's true colors have been revealed. Who would have guessed? What eBay really doesn't like are the comments sections revealing what they really are and how they operate, not the articles themselves. They were trying to shut down this site to silence eBay users who post truths here. Much of the same can be found all over their own community board! Do we know if eBay attempted to hack ECB looking for users IP information? You can't put it past them trying that. Any others that have been subjected to something like this at the hands of eBay need to come forward, and I would guess there are similar examples. This is eBay's vindictive culture revealed to all. They operate like a mafia organization which they have been compared to for many years. Guess what? It's the truth! More than questionable schemes, tactics, deceptions, and lies against it's userbase have been happening for years. The FBI, FTC, and SEC could have a field day with this company if properly investigated as it should be.

Then of course, you have the board cheerleader toolguy here saying "innocent until proven guilty" and he's also on the Yahoo Finance board (John) celebrating how the stock hasn't been affected at all by this scandal, along with other cheerleaders there. You can't make this stuff up! eBay's stock is always manipulation, speculation based on smoke and mirrors, company buybacks, and their hedge fund buddies, and it's day will come soon enough as well.

Condolences to Ina and David for being subjected to this criminal nonsense at the hands of top eBay executives. Left-wing extremist "cancel culture" in full display here.

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