Legal

Ex eBay Execs Admit To Cyberstalking Plot

eBay

Four former eBay employees have agreed to plead guilty next month in federal District Court in Boston, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling tweeted Wednesday (Sept. 23).

In June, six former eBay employees were charged with cyberstalking a Massachusetts couple who publish a newsletter that company executives viewed as critical of the California-based eCommerce corporation. The alleged harassment included sending anonymous, threatening messages, disturbing deliveries, including a box of cockroaches, a funeral wreath and a bloody pig mask. In addition, they allegedly conducted covert surveillance of the victims.

Federal investigators alleged that after the newsletter published an article about litigation involving eBay last year, two members of eBay’s executive leadership sent text messages suggesting that it was time to “take down” the newsletter’s editor, the prosecutors allege.

“It goes pretty far up the chain at eBay,” Lelling said when the charges were brought.

The four defendants who confessed to cyberstalking and intimidating the couple and will plead guilty on Oct. 8 include Veronica Zea, 26, of San Jose, a former eBay contractor who worked as an intelligence analyst in eBay’s Global Intelligence Center (GIC); Stephanie Popp, 32, of San Jose, eBay’s former senior manager of global intelligence; Brian Gilbert, 51, of San Jose, a former senior manager of special operations for eBay’s global security team; and Stephanie Stockwell, 26, of Redwood City, California, the former manager of eBay’s GIC.

Two others who were charged but have denied any wrongdoing include James Baugh, 45, of San Jose, eBay’s former senior director of safety and security; and David Harville, 48, of New York City, eBay’s former director of global resiliency.

Bloomberg reported the four could cooperate with federal prosecutors in the pursuit of Baugh and Harville.

Calls and emails to the six defendants’ attorney were not returned, the news outlet reported.

The victims were a Natick, Massachusetts couple who are the editor and publisher of an online newsletter that covers eCommerce companies, according to court documents.

Members of eBay’s executive leadership team followed the newsletter’s posts, often taking issue with its content and the anonymous comments underneath the editor’s stories.

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