BOSTON (CBS) – Six former eBay executives and employees are facing federal charges after they allegedly led a cyberstalking campaign against a Natick couple they believed was critical of the company in an online ecommerce newsletter.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said the eBay employees’ harassment included sending the couple “disturbing deliveries” that included a bloody pig mask, a box of live cockroaches, and a funeral wreath. The employees also allegedly sent anonymous threatening messages and traveled to Massachusetts to conduct “covert surveillance” of the victims.

“It was a determined, systematic effort of senior employees of a major company to destroy the lives of a couple in Natick, all because they published content company executives didn’t like,” said Lelling.

James Baugh, 45, of San Jose, California, eBay’s former director of safety and security and former eBay director of global resiliency David Harville, 48, of New York City, were among the six charged Monday.

Also charged were Stephanie Popp, 32, of San Jose; Stephanie Stockwell, 26, of Redwood City, Calif.; Veronica Zeak, 26, of San Jose; and Brian Gilbert, 51, of San Jose. Each is charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.

Popp was eBay’s senior manager of global intelligence, Stockwell was the company’s manager of global intelligence center (GIC), Zea was a contractor who worked as an intelligence analyst within the GIC, and Gilbert was a senior manager of special operations for eBay’s global security team.

Gilbert is also a former police captain.

The former eBay employees are accused of sending this bloody pig mask and this book about death and grief to a Natick couple. (WBZ-TV)

Lelling said the Natick couple serves as editor and publisher for an online newsletter that covers ecommerce companies. According to prosecutors, members of eBay’s executive leadership team followed the newsletter and took issue with the content and anonymous comments under the stories.

In 2019, two members of the leadership team allegedly sent or forwarded text messages saying it was time to “take down” the newsletter’s editor. One of the messages said the group wanted to “crush this lady,” referring to the editor.

When asked if further charges could be filed against other executives, Lelling said “The investigaton is active and ongoing.” Two unnamed executives are included in the complaint that had roles above Baugh.

“I don’t think I would characterize the conduct as rogue, because as seen in the complaint, the directive to do something about this goes pretty high up the chain within eBay,” said Lelling.

The couple then received a host of deliveries aimed at intimidating them.

“These deliveries included fly larvae and live spiders, a box of live cockroaches, a sympathy wreath on the occasion of the death of a loved one, a book of advice on how to survive the death of a spouse, pornography mailed to their next door neighbors but in the couple’s names, Halloween masks featuring the face of the bloody pig, and the pig fetus which was ordered, but after an inquiry by the supplier, thankfully, wasn’t ever sent,” Lelling said.

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling on Cyberstalking Charges

On August 18 just after midnight, the eBay employees allegedly posted a classified ad on Craigslist claiming to be from the Natick couple inviting “singles, couples and swingers” to their house to party after 10 p.m. every night.

“People were encouraged to knock on the couple’s door, anytime day or night,” said Lelling.

All of the employees were fired by eBay following an investigation. Lelling said the company cooperated with investigators.

“For a while they succeeded, psychologically devastating these victims for weeks,” Lelling said.“The result as alleged in the complaint was a systematic campaign fueled by the resources of a Fortune 500 company to emotionally and psychologically terrorize this middle aged couple in Natick, with the goal of deterring them from writing bad things online about eBay.”

eBay said it was notified in August 2019 about the alleged conduct of its employees and launched a “comprehensive investigation.” All of the employees involved were fired in September 2019.

“eBay took these allegations very seriously from the outset. Upon learning of them, eBay moved quickly to investigate thoroughly and take appropriate action,” an independent special committee formed by eBay’s Board of Directors said in a statement. “The Company cooperated fully and extensively with law enforcement authorities throughout the process. eBay does not tolerate this kind of behavior. eBay apologizes to the affected individuals and is sorry that they were subjected to this. eBay holds its employees to high standards of conduct and ethics and will continue to take appropriate action to ensure these standards are followed.”

Part of the investigation included what role former eBay CEO Devin Wenig may have had in the incident.

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

Comments (47)
  1. Mike says:

    Another reason I am closing my 250k sales store on eBay

  2. E-bay and Pay-Pal are run and owned by PIRATES! Try to close an account if you have one. It brings out the Holeiness in them (That’s right, with an “E”, you figure out what kind)
    They suck and will screw you in a minute in favor of a wrongdoing larger vendor.
    E-Bay sucks like a Hoover.

    1. gotham1883 says:

      All true. Big sellers get away with everything and a small seller has no chance. If the big seller thinks you are competitive they will rip whatever you are selling and make Ebay take it offline. If you sell cheap the big sellers will coordinate and buy it super cheap to re-sell at high prices. Half the time the big sellers are bad and will never get any bad feedback. Any bad feedback is erased. Terrible place to sell or buy.

  3. Tony Smith says:

    Not surprising in the least bit. EBay is a company of deviants–haters of hetero Christian white males.

    1. Truth B. Told says:

      What’s wrong with hating Christians?

      1. Nothing if you don’t mind facing Jesus at the Great White Throne Judgment. He won’t be the meek and mild God-Man on that day. He will take vengeance on all who hate Him and His loved ones then. After that you get a one way pass to The Lake Of Fire where you become a turd dumpster for the Demons of Hell. Oh- one other thing. Just because you “don’t believe it” doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. “Your truth” is irrelevant to God, or even to Natural Law. Try imagining there’s no gravity and see how “your truth” works out for you.

      2. gotham1883 says:

        What’s wrong with hating worthless atheists who can’t tell right from wrong or good from bad or Jews or muslims?

      3. Tish Tash says:

        massivedeplorable: You do realize that the difference between gravity and the Book of Revelations is that one’s existence can be proven repeatedly, while the other is the creation of pure imagination. But thanks for playing!

      4. Siylence Dogood says:

        Tish Tash – What about the Book of Revelation specifically do you have an issue with, or is it the whole Bible you’re rejecting?

      5. Same thing that’s wrong with hating Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists. It’s bigotry of the worst order. Did you really need to be told that?

      6. Desiree says:

        You ask what’s wrong with hating Christians. Did some alleged Christian harm you? If so, I doubt they were acting like a Christian, and then you’d be making the mistake of judging all Christians based on the behavior of one person.

        Hate will eat you up inside. That’s what is wrong with it.
        https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/destructive-power-hate/

      7. bob says:

        To tish Tash: gravity was a poor choice, as of today it is still considered a theory, NOT a proven fact. Look it up yourself

  4. Vince says:

    I want to quit ebay – any recommended other sites?

    1. Marty Willowbee says:

      Best thing to do is start your own website. Use shopify.com, they are designed for entrepreneurs. ebay sucks royal, etsy is not too far behind. Bonanza is a round robin site, useless. Amazon are out of their minds. They will burn you in a second leaving you hungry. They are beyond horrible.

      1. Oveida Sinclair says:

        That’s the problem, I totally despise Amazon and have NOTHING to do with them and ebay is really not much better then they are. I would love to go to another site to buy and sell, plus to give ebay the middle finger too.

  5. crazylove says:

    I hate eBay with a passion. There’s not a bigger batch of crooked, greedy, insensitive bas….s anywhere on the internet.

  6. generalghoul says:

    David Wenig got a $57 million golden parachute when he was fired last September. So which of the 6 will be the first to turn on him?

  7. DiveJumpShooterUSMC says:

    Lelling rocks- and his comments at the end about police are well received.

  8. Sean says:

    What’s her name, Stephanie Poop? eBay overcharges all sellers.

  9. Ev says:

    Get your anchor a mask and keep her, and the people around her, safe.

    Also, wow. This is insane.

  10. Subrata Das says:

    Actually E-bay and the Pay-Pal are run and owned by PIRATES! Try to close an account if you have one. It brings out the Holeiness in them (That’s right, with an “E”, you figure out what kind)
    They suck and will screw you in a minute in favor of a wrongdoing larger vendor.
    E-Bay sucks like a Hoover.

  11. JGalt says:

    This is an excellent case for very substantial damages from Ebay. These actions were taken on behalf of the company, and not outside their duties, so therefore Ebay is totally responsible. As a former trial attorney, looks like a multi-million dollar verdict for this couple. Watch for others to come out of the woodwork with similar horror stories, and new lawsuits.

  12. Charlie McGoohan says:

    This country is so full of toxic people I’m surprised it has lasted this long. Poison and loathing instead of blood, casually abusing their children, spewing hatred and rage wherever they go, I feel like the USA has a literal holocaust in its future, something history will look back on with horror and disbelief forever,

    1. John Keller says:

      America’s judgment is soon. The Book of Revelation calls it the fall of “that great city,” Mystery Babylon.

      1. Steve Bird says:

        America is not mystery babylon, go back to reading the Bible, you have much to learn.

  13. greystoker says:

    Six or possibly eight brainiacs who thought they could get away with this is a bit difficult to get a handle on.
    Leaving eTracks everywhere they went are simple to follow, with enough time and money to do the research.

  14. jim says:

    What a batch of idiots. This would be understandable if it was a group of teenage interns, but executives high up within the company? Purge all of them.

  15. Eric Robinson says:

    Ebay has always been a very poorly run company with the most ignorant employees on the planet. They are finally being exposed for the bunch of creeps that they are.

  16. Patrick Norton says:

    Typical liberal democrat thought police and shocking SWAT wasn’t deployed over the couples op-ed that hurt eBay executives feelings?

  17. Hugh says:

    Ebay employees decisions have repeatedly been arbitrary and capricious in multiple incidents over the decades. They are arrogant and have lied to me repeatedly with no fear of discipline – for good reason: Ebay’s ‘system’ would make the mafia look like good!
    There is ZERO protection for small sellers, for whom the fees are absurd. I closed my seller dashboard in disgust!

  18. Jones says:

    wow, crazy kook time!

  19. JoePlumber says:

    Ebay is just Chicombay now for the most part. I tried to sell a certain PLASTIC gun grip module and they said “no serial numbers” but this did not have a serial number and the guy just started lying through his teeth. Lots of the same module’s have been sold since that I have seen, but I was threatened with banning of my account if I sold one.

    Another instance before the other, I had another plastic part taken down due to having AR15 in the description, the guy then said no AR15 on ebay….I looked up on search and there were over 6,000 listings with AR15 in them as I talked to him, he got mad when I asked if all those would be taken down, and I called BS when he said yes. Just now there are 95,602 search hits for AR 15 on ebay.

    They make ups rules on the fly and single you out if you question. I have not sold anything since there.

  20. Vincent Vega says:

    The loonie left at its best. Ebay has some decent prices, but not like it used to be. Many products are knock offs. Don’t ever buy anything where the price seems too good to be true, it isn’t true.

  21. JB says:

    Did you notice they cut off the commentary at the end when he started talking in favor of local police departments?

  22. Michael Wolfe says:

    Years ago after being ripped off I quit doing business with or on E-bay.

  23. Patrick Leonard says:

    eBay have got too big for their boots, they have just opted to change the app that many of us use, no notice! If you have an older iPad too bad we no longer cater for you. They fob you off with “just use Sari” The site is not as practice and I will now very rarely use eBay. By the way like many of you I have been both a buyer and seller for many years. Now! They can get stuffed.

  24. buyer says:

    Ebay is also being fraudulent with the feedback for sellers in China. I ordered the same part from 4 different ebay vendors in China and 3 cancelled the order for not actually having the item (1 of them immediately relisted it) and the 4th shipped junk. I left negative feedback for the 3 that could not ship the item that they posted (serial offenders) and ebay removed the feedback from their profile within a half an hour. Many of these shippers from China and Hong Kong should have much lower feedback ratings than they show, but something is going on to prop them up and make them appear more legitimate than they are. On top of that, you can see many of them using some sort of “feedback farm” system, where they list items for pennies and place orders with each other to leave positive feedback to outweigh the items that they are really pushing that are listed for hundreds or thousands of dollars. If ebay simply weighted the feedback system based on the dollar value of the item sold so that they system can’t be so easily gamed, many of these vendors would see their feedback score go from 98 or 99% down to 60% or even lower.

  25. jhoughton1 says:

    “Global intelligence,” “Global resiliency” — am laughing myself sick.

  26. Dan Johnson says:

    What did the couple say to prompt this? Seems like the real story here should be whatever information they had that would lead to all this fuss to try and silence them.

  27. cheapwithmymoney says:

    the way they acted towards this couple should get them the max.

  28. Net Police says:

    Global Intelligence and Global Resiliency? With all the acronyms this is some Corporate Scientology fair game cult style stalking right there. It is always sad when people are afraid to speak out in truth for fear of repercussions.

  29. Gerbil Jones says:

    Looks to me to be somewhat moot to write anything negative toward eBay at this point, when they’ve got employees already doing that for them. I think I know who won this pis**ng contest.

  30. John Gori says:

    Notice that the two ebay executives who sent text messages to the leaders of the six to “Take down” this couple and “crush the lady” were not even named in the press release, much less indicted. This clearly goes MUCH higher at ebay than the six fired/indicted employees. They are just the ones being sacrificed to save the rest of the guilty. Ebay is now putting out statements on their website that these six were the only employees involved, even though the campaign (if not the specific acts) were clearly directed from above by the two unnamed “executives”. The cover up is in full swing and the major media are obediently following orders and mostly ignoring this story.

  31. have any other victims been identified? How many of these have been destroyed further by being drugged and tortured in mental prisons? They did me for 6 months, but i been gangstalked for about twenty years…completely destroyed my life and I’m not allowed to talk about as the outstanding threat is institutionalised, gang raped and tortured FOR LIFE, no trial or anything….or even an allegation. Just name calling.

  32. John Smith says:

    This case shows that gang stalking is at epidemic proportions.

  33. Ebay Sucks !! says:

    I have had numerous times confirmed several large sellers that were shill bidding, up bidding on their own items, with undeniable proof and reported them, all ignored, and seller still selling! I even had a seller in China seller counterfeit Kingston memory confirmed by Kingston, with proof from Kingston, and guess what there still selling on ebay! So if these issues are known to ebay and still allowed is it any shock that they got busted for stalking and harassing a couple calling them out?

Leave a Reply to Sean Cancel reply