Monday, July 15, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, November 3, 2022
EBay Employees Get Prison for 'Aggressive Cyberstalking'
By News Release @ 11:46 PM :: 1006 Views :: First Amendment, Pierre Omidyar

Former eBay Employee Sentenced for Aggressive Cyberstalking Campaign

For Immediate Release, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, Thursday, November 3, 2022

BOSTON – A former intelligence analyst for eBay, Inc. was sentenced today for her role in a cyberstalking campaign targeting the editor and publisher of a newsletter that eBay executives viewed as critical of the company.

Veronica Zea, 28, of San Jose, Calif., a former eBay contractor who worked as an intelligence analyst in eBay’s Global Intelligence Center (GIC), was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge William G. Young to two years’ probation with her first year to be served in home confinement and a $5,000 fine. In October 2020, Zea pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.

On Sept. 29, 2022, co-conspirator James Baugh was sentenced to 57 months in prison, two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a fine of $40,000. Also on Sept. 29, 2022, co-conspirator David Harville was sentenced to two years in prison, two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a fine of $20,000. Co-conspirators and former eBay employees Philip Cooke, Stephanie Popp, Stephanie Stockwell and Brian Gilbert previously pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy to cyberstalk the victims. Cooke was sentenced in July 2021 to 18 months in prison. On Oct. 11, 2022, Popp was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and Stockwell was sentenced to two years of probation with a year of home confinement. Gilbert is awaiting sentencing.

Between approximately Aug. 5, 2019 and Sept. 6, 2019, Zea and her co-conspirators at eBay agreed to engage in a harassment campaign targeting a husband and wife in Natick, Mass. for their roles in publishing a newsletter that reported on issues of interest to eBay sellers. Senior executives at eBay were frustrated with the newsletter’s tone and content as well as the substance of comments posted beneath the newsletter’s articles. The harassment campaign arose from communications between those senior executives and Baugh, who was eBay’s senior security employee.                    

Zea and her co-conspirators executed a three-part harassment campaign intended to intimidate the victims and to influence their reporting about eBay. The campaign included sending anonymous and disturbing deliveries to the victims’ home; sending private Twitter messages and public tweets criticizing the newsletter’s content; threats to visit the victims in Natick; and traveling to Natick to surveil the victims and installing a GPS tracking device on their car.

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 addressed to the victims but delivered to their neighbor’s homes. Zea used cash to purchase prepaid debit cards for use in the campaign and ordered insects to the victims’ home.

As part of the second phase of the campaign, Zea’s co-conspirators sent public tweets and private threatening Twitter messages that were written as if they had been sent by eBay sellers who were unhappy with the victims’ coverage in the newsletter. Some of these messages posted the victims’ address and threatened to visit them at their home.

The third phase of the campaign involved covertly surveilling the victims in their home and community. On Aug. 15, 2019, Zea travelled from California to Natick with Baugh and Harville to surveil the victims and to install a GPS tracking device on the victims’ car. Zea and Harville registered for a software development conference to explain the trip to Boston. The victims spotted the surveillance team and contacted local police. At Baugh’s direction, Zea also lied to an eBay investigator who was responding to the Natick Police’s request for assistance.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division; and Natick Police Chief James G. Hicks made the announcement today. eBay provided valuable assistance and cooperation with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto, Deputy Chief of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

  *   *   *   *   *

Two Former eBay Employees Sentenced for Aggressive Cyberstalking Campaign

For Immediate Release U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, Tuesday, October 11, 2022

BOSTON – Two former employees of eBay, Inc. were sentenced today for their roles in a cyberstalking campaign targeting the editor and publisher of a newsletter that eBay executives viewed as critical of the company.

Stephanie Popp, 34, of Louisville, Ky., eBay’s former Senior Manager of Global Intelligence, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and two years of probation. Stephanie Stockwell, 28, of Redwood City, Calif., the former manager of eBay’s Global Intelligence Center, was sentenced to two years of probation, with one year to be served in home confinement. Both sentences were imposed by Senior U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young

On Sept. 29, 2022, co-conspirator James Baugh was sentenced to 57 months in prison, two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a fine of $40,000. Also on Sept. 29, 2022, co-conspirator David Harville was sentenced to two years in prison, two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a fine of $20,000. Co-conspirators and former eBay employees Philip Cooke, Brian Gilbert and Veronica Zea previously pleaded guilty for their roles in the conspiracy to cyberstalk the victims. Cooke was sentenced in July 2021 to 18 months in prison. Gilbert and Zea are awaiting sentencing.

Between approximately Aug. 5, 2019 and Sept. 6, 2019, Stockwell, Popp and their co-conspirators at eBay agreed to engage in a harassment campaign targeting a husband and wife in Natick, Mass. for their roles in publishing a newsletter that reported on issues of interest to eBay sellers. Senior executives at eBay were frustrated with the newsletter’s tone and content as well as the substance of comments posted beneath the newsletter’s articles. The harassment campaign arose from communications between those senior executives and Baugh, who was eBay’s senior security employee.                    

In August 2019, the defendants and their co-conspirators executed a three-part harassment campaign intended to intimidate the victims and to influence their reporting about eBay. The campaign included sending anonymous and disturbing deliveries to the victims’ home; sending private Twitter messages and public tweets criticizing the newsletter’s content; threats to visit the victims in Natick; and traveling to Natick to surveil the victims and installing a GPS tracking device on their car.

Stockwell, at Baugh’s direction, purchased a laptop for use in harassing the victims, and used an anonymous email account to order online live spiders and a prepaid debit card to purchase a late-night pizza delivery to the victims’ home. Other deliveries ordered to the victims’ home included a book on surviving the death of a spouse, a bloody pig mask, a fetal pig and a funeral wreath. Stockwell also prepared an eBay “Person of Interest” report for the Bay Area—a fictitious list of potential suspects to provide to the Natick Police Department to deflect the police from suspecting that eBay employees were actually harassing the victims. 

As part of the second phase of the campaign, Popp sent private Twitter messages and public tweets, drafted or approved by Baugh, Gilbert, or Cooke, criticizing the newsletter’s content. The threatening Twitter messages were written as if they had been sent by eBay sellers who were unhappy with the victims’ coverage in the newsletter. Some of these messages posted the victims’ home address and threats to show up at their home. The harassment also featured Craigslist posts inviting members of the public to experience sexual encounters at the victims’ home.                   

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division; and Natick Police Chief James G. Hicks made the announcement today. eBay provided valuable assistance and cooperation with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto, Deputy Chief of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

  *   *   *   *   *

 

Two Former eBay Executives Sentenced to Prison for Cyberstalking

For Immediate Release U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, Thursday, September 29, 2022

BOSTON – The former Senior Director of Safety & Security at eBay, Inc. and the company’s former Director of Global Resiliency were sentenced to prison today for their roles in a cyberstalking campaign targeting the editor and publisher of a newsletter that eBay executives viewed as critical of the company.

James Baugh, 47, of San Jose, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B.  Saris to 57 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Baugh was also ordered to pay a fine of $40,000. David Harville, 50, of Las Vegas, Nev., was sentenced to two years in prison and two years of supervised release. Harville was also ordered to pay a fine of $20,000. On April 25, 2022, Baugh pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit stalking through interstate travel and through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts of stalking through interstate travel, two counts of stalking through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts of witness tampering and two counts of destruction, alteration and falsification of records in a federal investigation.  On May 12, 2022, Harville pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit stalking through interstate travel and through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts of stalking through interstate travel and two counts of stalking through facilities of interstate commerce.

“The internet is incredibly powerful. It brings community, information, and even merchandise right to our homes. Mr. Baugh and Mr. Harville used the internet’s power to harass and intimidate a couple who did nothing—nothing—other than publish content that our First Amendment protects. The defendants’ toxic brand of online and real-world harassment, threats, and stalking was outrageous, cruel and defies any explanation—all the more because these men were seasoned and highly paid security executives backed by the resources of a Fortune 500 corporation. Their behavior was reprehensible. The just sentences the Court imposed today will take Mr. Baugh and Mr. Harville offline and out of our community for some time. This should serve as a strong reminder to all that holding positions of wealth and privilege does not absolve or shield criminals from accountability and incarceration. The government’s investigation continues,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins.

“Both men demonstrated a clear contempt for the law when they weaponized eBay’s security department to engage in an incredibly disturbing pattern of retaliatory harassment and intimidation to torment this couple, who, thankfully, did not let their fear silence them,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “While today’s sentencings cannot erase the substantial distress their victims suffered, it does make it crystal clear that anyone who goes online to threaten, intimidate, or harass others will face real-world consequences, including federal prison time.”

Harville and Baugh were arrested and charged in June 2020. Co-conspirators and former eBay employees Philip Cooke, Brian Gilbert, Stephanie Popp, Veronica Zea and Stephanie Stockwell previously pleaded guilty for their roles in a conspiracy to cyberstalk the victims. Cooke was sentenced in July 2021 to 18 months in prison. Gilbert, Popp, Zea and Stockwell are awaiting sentencing.

Between approximately Aug. 5, 2019 and Sept. 6, 2019, Harville, Baugh and their co-conspirators at eBay agreed to engage in a harassment campaign targeting a husband and wife in Natick, Mass. for their roles in publishing a newsletter that reported on issues of interest to eBay sellers. Senior executives at eBay were frustrated with the newsletter’s tone and content as well as the substance of comments posted beneath the newsletter’s articles. The harassment campaign arose from communications between those senior executives and Baugh, who was eBay’s senior security employee. 

The defendants and their co-conspirators executed a three-part harassment campaign intended to intimidate the victims and to influence their reporting about eBay. The campaign included sending anonymous and disturbing deliveries to the victims’ home; sending private Twitter messages and public tweets criticizing the newsletter’s content; threats to visit the victims in Natick; and traveling to Natick to surveil the victims and installing a GPS tracking device on their car.

The deliveries ordered to the victims’ home included a book on surviving the death of a spouse, a bloody pig mask, a fetal pig, a funeral wreath and live insects. The harassment also featured Craigslist posts inviting members of the public to experience sexual encounters at the victims’ home.

The threatening Twitter messages were written as if they had been sent by eBay sellers who were unhappy with the victims’ coverage in the newsletter. Some of these messages posted the victims’ home address and threatened to show up at their home. 

On Aug. 15, 2019, Baugh, Harville and a co-conspirator traveled from California to Natick to surveil the victims and install a GPS tracking device on the victims’ car. The victims spotted the surveillance team and contacted local police. Harville also purchased tools intending to break into the victims’ garage and lied to an eBay investigator who was responding to the Natick Police’s request for assistance.

After learning of the police’s investigation, Harville and Baugh deleted digital evidence related to the cyberstalking campaign. Additionally, Baugh made false statements to police and internal investigators and falsified records intended to throw the police off the trail.

U.S. Attorney Rollins, FBI SAC Bonavolonta and Natick Police Chief James G. Hicks made the announcement today. eBay provided valuable assistance and cooperation with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto, Deputy Chief of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

 

  *   *   *   *   *

Former eBay Executive Pleads Guilty to Role in Cyberstalking Campaign

For Immediate Release, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, Friday, May 13, 2022

BOSTON – The former Director of Global Resiliency for eBay, Inc. pleaded guilty yesterday in connection with his role in a cyberstalking campaign targeting the editor and publisher of a newsletter that eBay executives viewed as critical of the company.

David Harville, 50, of Las Vegas, Nev., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit stalking through interstate travel and through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts of stalking through interstate travel and two counts of stalking through facilities of interstate commerce. U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for Oct. 6, 2022.

In June 2020, Harville was arrested and charged along with James Baugh, eBay’s former Senior Director of Safety & Security, who pleaded guilty on April 25, 2022. Co-conspirators and former eBay employees Philip Cooke, Brian Gilbert, Stephanie Popp, Veronica Zea and Stephanie Stockwell previously pleaded guilty. Cooke was sentenced in July 2021 to 18 months in prison. Gilbert, Popp, Zea and Stockwell are awaiting sentencing.

Between approximately Aug. 5, 2019 and Sept. 6, 2019, Harville and his co-conspirators at eBay agreed to engage in a harassment campaign targeting a husband and wife in Natick, Mass. for their roles in publishing a newsletter that reported on issues of interest to eBay sellers. Senior executives at eBay were frustrated with the newsletter’s tone and content, and with the tone and content of comments posted beneath the newsletter’s articles. The harassment campaign arose from communications between those executives and Baugh, who was eBay’s senior security employee. 

Harville and his co-conspirators executed a three-part harassment campaign intended to intimidate the victims and to change the content of the newsletter’s reporting. The campaign included sending anonymous and disturbing deliveries to the victims’ home; sending private Twitter messages and public tweets criticizing the newsletter’s content and threatening to visit the victims in Natick; and traveling to Natick to surveil the victims and install a GPS tracking device on their car.

The deliveries ordered to the victims’ home included a book on surviving the death of a spouse, a bloody pig mask, a fetal pig, a funeral wreath and live insects. The harassment also featured Craigslist posts inviting the public for sexual encounters at the victims’ home.

The threatening Twitter messages were written as if they had been sent by eBay sellers who were unhappy with the victims’ coverage in the newsletter. Some of these messages posted the victims’ address and threatened to visit them at their home. 

On Aug. 15, 2019, Harville and co-conspirators traveled from California to Natick to surveil the victims and to install a GPS tracking device on the victims’ car. The victims spotted the surveillance team and contacted local police. Harville also purchased tools intending to break into the victims’ garage and lied to an eBay investigator who was responding to the Natick Police’s request for assistance. After learning of the police’s investigation, Harville turned in his company-issued cell phone from which evidence related to the cyberstalking campaign had been deleted.

The charges of conspiracy to commit stalking and stalking each provide for 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 statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Natick Chief of Police James G. Hicks made the announcement. eBay provided valuable assistance and cooperation with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto, Deputy Chief of Rollins’ Securities, Financial and Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

  *   *   *   *   *

Former eBay Executive Pleads Guilty to His Role in Cyberstalking Campaign

For Immediate Release, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, Monday, April 25, 2022

BOSTON – A former eBay, Inc. executive pleaded guilty today in connection with his role in a cyberstalking campaign targeting the editor and publisher of a newsletter that eBay executives viewed as critical of the company.

James Baugh, 47, of San Jose, Calif., eBay’s former Senior Director of Safety & Security, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit stalking through interstate travel and through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts of stalking through interstate travel, two counts of stalking through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts of witness tampering and two counts of destruction, alteration and falsification of records in a federal investigation. U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for Sept. 29, 2022.

In June 2020, Baugh was arrested and charged along with David Harville, eBay’s former Director of Global Resiliency. Co-conspirators and former eBay employees Philip Cooke, Brian Gilbert, Stephanie Popp, Veronica Zea and Stephanie Stockwell previously pleaded guilty. Cooke was sentenced in July 2021 to 18 months in prison. Gilbert, Popp, Zea and Stockwell are awaiting sentencing. Harville has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

According to court documents, between approximately Aug. 5, 2019 and Aug. 23, 2020, Baugh and his co-conspirators at eBay agreed to engage in a harassment campaign targeting a husband and wife in Natick, Mass. for of their roles in publishing a newsletter that reported on issues of interest to eBay sellers. Senior executives at eBay were frustrated with the newsletter’s tone and content, and with the tone and content of comments posted beneath the newsletter’s articles. The harassment campaign arose from communications between those executives and Baugh, who was eBay’s senior security employee. 

Baugh and his co-conspirators allegedly executed a three-part harassment campaign intended to intimidate the victims and to change the content of the newsletter’s reporting. The campaign included sending anonymous and disturbing deliveries to the victims’ home; sending private Twitter messages and public tweets criticizing the newsletter’s content and threatening to visit the victims in Natick; and traveling to Natick to surveil the victims and install a GPS tracking device on their car.

The deliveries ordered to the victims’ home included a book on surviving the death of a spouse, a bloody pig mask, a fetal pig, a funeral wreath and live insects. The harassment also featured Craigslist posts inviting the public for sexual encounters at the victims’ home.

The threatening Twitter messages were written as if they had been sent by eBay sellers who were unhappy with the victims’ coverage in the newsletter. Some of these messages posted the victims’ address and threatened to visit the victims at their home. 

On Aug. 15, 2019, Baugh and co-conspirators allegedly traveled from California to Natick to surveil the victims and to install a GPS tracking device on the victims’ car. The victims spotted the surveillance team and contacted local police. After learning of the police’s investigation, Baugh made false statements to police and internal investigators, deleted digital evidence related to the cyberstalking campaign and falsified records intended to throw the police off the trail.

The charges of conspiracy to commit stalking and stalking each provide for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution.  The charges of witness tampering and destruction, alteration and fabrication of records in a federal investigation each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution. The witness tampering charges also carry the potential for forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; 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. eBay provided valuable assistance and cooperation with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto, Deputy Chief of Rollins’ Securities, Financial and Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

  *   *   *   *   *

Former eBay Employee Sentenced for Role in Aggressive Cyberstalking Campaign

For Immediate Release, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, Tuesday, July 27, 2021

BOSTON – A former supervisor of security operations for eBay’s was sentenced today for his role in a cyberstalking campaign targeting a Natick, Mass. couple who published a newsletter that eBay executives viewed as critical of the company.

Philip Cooke, 56, of San Jose, Calif., a former police captain in Santa Clara, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release with the first year spent in home detention. Cooke was also ordered to pay a fine of $15,000 and to perform 100 hours of community service. In October 2020, Cooke pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.

Cooke admitted to conspiring with six other former eBay employees. David Harville, of New York City, and James Baugh, of San Jose, Calif., were charged on June 15, 2020, with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and are pending trial. Stephanie Popp and Veronica Zea, both of San Jose, Calif., pleaded guilty on Oct. 8, 2020 and are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28, 2021. Stephanie Stockwell, of Redwood City, Calif., and Brian Gilbert, of San Jose, Calif., pleaded guilty on Oct. 29, 2020 and are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28, 2021 and Sept. 30, 2021, respectively.

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. 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.

It is alleged that in August 2019, the defendants executed a three-part harassment campaign against the Natick couple. 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 and a book on surviving the loss of a spouse.

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 charging documents allege that Cooke, Baugh, Gilbert and Popp planned these messages to become increasingly disturbing, culminating with “doxing” the victims (i.e., publishing their home address). It is alleged that the 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.

The third phase of the campaign allegedly involved surveilling the victims in their home and community. The victims spotted the surveillance, however, and notified the Natick Police, who began to investigate.

Aware that the police were investigating, the defendants allegedly sought to interfere with the investigation. For example, Cooke and, allegedly, several of the other defendants discussed the possibility of presenting Natick Police with a false investigative lead to keep the police from discovering video evidence that could link some of the deliveries to eBay employees. 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.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Natick Police Chief James G. Hicks made the announcement today. eBay provided valuable assistance and cooperation with the federal investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto, Deputy Chief of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit, is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in charging documents as to defendants Harville and Baugh are allegations. They are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

  *   *   *   *   *

Two Former eBay Executives Indicted in Connection with Cyberstalking Campaign

For Immediate Release U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, Tuesday, November 3, 2020

BOSTON – Two former eBay, Inc. executives were indicted today by a federal grand jury in Boston in connection with their roles in a cyberstalking campaign targeting the editor and publisher of a newsletter that eBay executives viewed as critical of the company.

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.

Co-conspirators and former eBay employees Philip Cooke, 55, Brian Gilbert, 52, Stephanie Popp, 32, Veronica Zea, 26, and Stephanie Stockwell, 26, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.

According to the charging document, 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. 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.

It is alleged that in August 2019, the defendants and their co-conspirators executed a three-part harassment campaign targeting the Natick couple, which included the defendants sending anonymous and disturbing deliveries to the victims’ home; sending private Twitter messages and public tweets criticizing the newsletter’s content and threatening to visit the victims in Natick; and traveling to Natick to surveil the victims and install a GPS tracking device on their car.

Among other things, the indictment alleges that Baugh convened meetings to plan and coordinate the various parts of the harassment campaign; directed Harville to travel with him to Boston for an “op” targeting the victims and their website; directed Stockwell to “make up” allegations that the victims had made direct threats to eBay, the company’s CEO and its employees as cover in case the surveillance team was stopped; and posed as Zea’s husband when a Natick Police detective arrived in the lobby of Boston’s Ritz Carlton hotel to investigate eBay’s connection to the harassment campaign. 

Among other things, the indictment alleges that Harville flew from California to Boston intending to place the victims under surveillance; attempted to install a GPS tracking device on the victims’ car; purchased tools intending to break in to the victims’ garage; lied to an eBay investigator who was responding to the Natick Police’s request for assistance; and deleted evidence from his company-issued cell phone after learning of the criminal investigation. 

The charges of conspiracy to commit stalking and stalking 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.  The charges of witness tampering and destruction, alteration and fabrication of records in a federal investigation each carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution. The witness tampering charges also carry the potential for forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States 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. eBay provided valuable assistance and cooperation with the federal investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto, Deputy Chief of Lelling’s Securities, Financial and Cyber Fraud Unit, is 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.

  *   *   *   *   *

June 15, 2020: Feds: Civil Beat Publisher's Security Detail Sends Pig's Head to Media Critic

UKDM 2022: Ebay executive admits terrorizing couple who published newsletter criticizing firm by mailing them pig fetus, maggots, funeral wreath and 'barely legal' porn for publishing newsletter criticizing firm

 

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii