eBay Stalking Campaign


Overview

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.

... 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.

United States v. Gilbert et al

  • Status: Pending sentencing
  • Case Number: 1:20-cr-10098-WGY
  • Crime(s):
  • Law(s) Violated:
  • Court: U.S. District Court - District of Massachusetts
  • Defendant(s):
    • Brian Gilbert
    • Stephanie Popp
    • Stephanie Stockwell
    • Veronica Zea
  • Sentence(s):

Brian Gilbert, 52, of San Jose, Calif., a former Senior Manager of Special Operations for eBay’s Global Security Team, and Stephanie Stockwell, 26, of Redwood City, Calif., the former manager of eBay’s Global Intelligence Center, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for Stockwell on March 11, 2021, and for Gilbert on May 6, 2021.

Stephanie Popp, 32, of San Jose, Calif., eBay’s former Senior Manager of Global Intelligence, and Veronica Zea, 26, of San Jose, Calif., a former eBay contractor who worked as an intelligence analyst in eBay’s Global Intelligence Center (GIC), pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for Feb. 25, 2021.

USA v. Baugh et al

  • Status: Pending
  • Case Number: 1:20-mj-02398-MBB
  • Crime(s):
  • Law(s) Violated:
  • Court: U.S. District Court - District of Massachusetts
  • Defendant(s):
    • James Baugh
    • David Harville
  • Sentence(s):

James Baugh, 45, of San Jose, Calif., eBay’s former Senior Director of Safety & Security, and David Harville, 48, of New York City, eBay’s former Director of Global Resiliency, were indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit stalking through interstate travel and through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts each of stalking through interstate travel, two counts of stalking through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts (Baugh) and one count (Harville) of witness tampering, and two counts (Baugh) and one count (Harville) of destruction, alteration, and falsification of records in a federal investigation. Baugh and Harville were previously charged by criminal complaint and arrested on June 15, 2020.

Philip Cooke - a former police captain in Santa Clara, Calif

Philip Cooke, 55, of San Jose, Calif., a former police captain in Santa Clara, Calif., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for Feb. 24, 2021.

Cooke conspired with six other former eBay employees. David Harville, 48, of New York City and James Baugh, 45, of San Jose, Calif., were charged on June 15, 2020, with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. The charging documents identified Cooke as “Supervisor 1.” Stephanie Popp, 32, and Veronica Zea, 26, both of San Jose, Calif., pleaded guilty on Oct. 8, 2020 and are scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 25, 2021. Stephanie Stockwell, 26, of Redwood City, Calif., and Brian Gilbert, 51, of San Jose, Calif., are scheduled to plead guilty on Oct. 29, 2020.

Source(s)