Former eBay employees sent bloody pig mask to intimidate critics, feds allege

eBay

  • Six former members of eBay’s global security team have been charged by the FBI and federal prosecutors in Boston with cyberstalking.
  • The alleged actions were part of an attempt to “stifle” the publishers of an online newsletter, prosecutors said.

Federal prosecutors charged six former eBay employees with cyberstalking, in an attempt to “stifle” a couple who published an online newsletter about e-commerce companies.

“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,” the Department of Justice said on Monday.

The group also posted on Craigslist that the couples were swingers and were looking for sexual partners, according to the lawsuit.

The Justice Department said that it charged James Baugh, eBay’s former senior director of safety and security, and David Harville, eBay’s former director of global resiliency, with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.

“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,” the Department of Justice said.

“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.”

eBay said it a statement that it was notified by law enforcement of suspicious activity in August 2019 and launched an investigation. The company terminated all involved employees in September 2019, it added.

The investigation also looked into former CEO Devin Wenig, who left the company in September 2018.

“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,” eBay said. “However, as the Company previously announced, there were a number of considerations leading to his departure from the Company.”

Wenig has been a member of the General Motors Board of Directors since 2018. He currently serves on the risks and cybersecurity committee for GM and is one of 11 board-recommended directors up for re-election at the company’s annual meeting Tuesday.

GM did not immediately have a response to eBay’s statement.

CNBC’s Michael Wayland contributed to this report.

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