Enlarge /. A bloody pig mask that was allegedly sent to cyberstalking victims by eBay employees at the time.
Six former eBay employees were "accused of waging a cyberstalking campaign against a newsletter publisher and publisher". This included sending anonymous, threatening messages, disruptive deliveries – including a box of live cockroaches, a funeral wreath, and a bloody pig mask – and undercover surveillance of the victims, "announced the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney General in Massachusetts today.
James Baugh, 45, is eBay's former senior security director, and David Harville, 48, is eBay's former director of global resilience. Both were arrested today and charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to manipulate witnesses. Each indictment "results in up to five years in prison, three years in prison, a fine of up to $ 250,000, and a refund," the DOJ said.
The bloody pig mask was a Halloween mask and was shipped via Amazon.com, a court document said. The mask came to the victims the same day when one of the victims "received an email saying that a" preserved fetal pig "had been ordered online to be sent to the victims' house", the document says. A few days later, the victims received "a box of cockroaches" that they bought from a cockroach breeder and seller.
The alleged targets were a couple in Natick, Massachusetts, who published an online e-commerce newsletter and "eBay executives viewed as critical of the company," the DOJ said. A suspected victim is a reporter and editor of the newsletter, while her husband is the editor. The names of the alleged victims and the news website they operate are not listed in the Massachusetts District Court indictments.
"Members of the eBay leadership team tracked the newsletter's posts and frequently questioned its content and the anonymous commentary on the publisher's story," the DOJ said.
As claimed, the extensive harassment campaign of these six @ eBay employees included sending embarrassing and disturbing deliveries to the Natick couple's house, including a bloody pig mask, a sympathy wreath, a book on how to survive a spouse's loss, and live insects . pic.twitter.com/U2d1fgsLJD
– FBI Boston (@FBIBoston) June 15, 2020
Three-part harassment campaign
The alleged crimes took place in August and September 2019. Four other former eBay employees were not arrested today, but face the same charges. You are Stephanie Popp, 32, a former senior manager of global intelligence on eBay; Stephanie Stockwell, 26, former manager of eBay's Global Intelligence Center (GIC); Veronica Zea, 26, a former eBay contractor who worked as a GIC intelligence analyst; and Brian Gilbert, 51, former senior manager for special operations on eBay's Global Security Team. Harville is from New York City, while the other five defendants are from California.
"It is believed that in August 2019, after the newsletter published an article on litigation with eBay, two members of the eBay leadership team sent or forwarded text messages indicating that it was time to contact the editor of the Newsletters "turn off", it said in the DOJ's announcement. Another message from an unnamed eBay manager to another was: "We will destroy this lady".
The "take down" message was followed by a three-part harassment campaign against the six defendants, the DOJ said. The first phase included anonymous deliveries such as "a bloody pig Halloween mask, a funeral wreath, a book on surviving spouse loss and pornography – the last of which was addressed to the newsletter publisher but was sent to his neighbors' homes . "
The announcement of the DOJ continued:
As part of the second phase of the campaign, some of the defendants reportedly sent private Twitter messages and public tweets criticizing the content of the newsletter and threatening to visit the victims in Natick. The (fee) documents allege that Baugh, Gilbert, Popp and another eBay security agent have planned that these messages will become increasingly disruptive and that the victims will "doxen" (i.e. publish their home address). It is believed that the same group intended to introduce Gilbert, a former Santa Clara police captain, to the victims in an offer to stop the harassment that the accused had secretly caused to promote goodwill towards eBay for more favorable reporting Newsletter and identification of the people behind the anonymous comments.
Third, the defendants reportedly monitored the publisher / publisher. After signing up for a software development conference as a pretext for a trip to Boston, Baugh, Harville, and Zea (and later Popp) reportedly drove to the victim's home in Natick several times, with Harville and Baugh intending to break into the victim's garage at some point and install a GPS locator on their car, "said the DOJ." As protection in the event that they were stopped by the local police, Baugh and Harville allegedly carried false documents with them that allegedly showed they were the victims as & # 39; people of interest & # 39; investigated who had threatened eBay managers. However, the victims discovered the surveillance and notified the Natick police, who started the investigation. The police found out that Zea had rented one of the cars used by the accused and asked eBay for help. "
In private messages cited in the loading documents, Baugh reportedly called the newsletter reporter "such a cunt" and wrote that "these people are scum".
eBay laidoff employees and CEO leave
eBay issued a statement today that it "immediately launched a full investigation" after being notified by law enforcement officials. "As a result of the investigation, eBay fired everyone involved, including the company's former chief communications officer, in September 2019," said eBay.
eBay went on to say that it "does not tolerate this type of behavior" and "apologizes to the data subjects and is sorry that they have been subjected to this behavior".
Devin Wenig was the CEO of eBay at the time of the incident, and left the company in September 2019. eBay said that his "internal investigation found that Mr. Wenig's communications were inappropriate, but there was no evidence he needed in advance or knew approved the actions that would later target the blogger and her husband. However, as the company previously announced, there were a number of considerations that led to his departure from the company. "
In September, eBay's CEO change announcement said, "Both Devin and the board believe that a new CEO is currently the best for the company." The Los Angeles Times reported at the time that "Little was fired after he failed to expand eBay's marketplace platform and clashed with the board because he didn't want to sell the classifieds business."