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Former eBay Staff Stalked Critical Newsletter Editors Online, Sent Them Bloody-Pig Mask And Live Cockroaches, Now Formally Charged

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Former eBay Staff Stalked Critical Newsletter Editors Online, Sent Them Bloody-Pig Mask And Live Cockroaches, Now Formally Charged

Six former employees of eBay Inc. (NYSE: EBAY) have been formally charged for carrying out a cyberstalking campaign against a couple who run a newsletter that criticized the e-commerce company.

What Happened

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice said the attacks against the Massachusetts-based editor and publisher of the newsletter called EcommerceBytes included threatening messages on Twitter Inc.’s (NYSE: TWTR) platform, packages containing live cockroaches, a funeral wreath and a bloody-pig mask, reported the Wall Street Journal.

The DOJ also said in its complaint that the former employees carried out covert surveillance of the couple. The cyberstalking started after the newsletter wrote about litigation involving eBay.

The harassment was carried out in phases and included an attempt by former eBay employees to break into the couple’s house to implant surveillance devices in their car. The botched attempt led to police being called and the beginning of the investigation.

Why It Matters

According to the WSJ, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said that the DOJ investigation continues and that “it goes pretty far up the chain at eBay.”

The employees who were charged include James Baugh, senior director of safety and security, David Harville, former director of global resiliency, and Brian Gilbert, manager at eBay’s global security team.

Stephanie Popp, Stephanie Stockwell and contractor Veronica Zea, all former employees in eBay’s global intelligence operations, have also been charged.

On Monday, Baugh and Harville were arrested, while Gilbert, Popp, Stockwell and Zea are due to appear in federal court.

Ebay acknowledged Monday that it was notified by law enforcement of suspicious activity by company security personnel aimed at Ina Steiner, the editor of the newsletter, and her husband David Steiner, the publisher, in August. 

The e-commerce company said it had immediately launched an investigation and fired everyone involved in September. 

eBay Price Action

On Monday, eBay shares closed 0.48% higher at $47.89.

Image: Wikimedia

 

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