Two Former eBay Executives Sentenced to Prison for Cyberstalking | United States Department of Justice
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Sat Jan 14 14:10:56 PST 2023
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
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.
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