EBay work­ers to ad­mit cy­ber­stalk­ing

Albuquerque Journal - - BUSINESS - AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

BOS­TON — Four for­mer eBay Inc. em­ploy­ees have agreed to plead guilty to their roles in a cam­paign of in­tim­i­da­tion that in­cluded send­ing live spi­ders and cock­roaches to the home of a Mas­sachusetts cou­ple who ran an on­line news­let­ter crit­i­cal of the auc­tion site, fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors said Wed­nes­day.

“Four for­mer em­ploy­ees of #eBay are sched­uled to plead guilty on Oct. 8 at 2pm via zoom in fed­eral court in #Bos­ton,” ac­cord­ing to a tweet from the of­fi­cial ac­count of the U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice in Mas­sachusetts. “The de­fen­dants are charged w/ par­tic­i­pat­ing in a cy­ber­stalk­ing cam­paign that tar­geted a Mas­sachusetts cou­ple.”

The four ex­pected to plead guilty are Brian Gil­bert, 51; Stephanie Popp, 32; Stephanie Stock­well, 26; and Veron­ica Zea, 26, ac­cord­ing to The Bos­ton Globe.

All live in San Jose, Cal­i­for­nia, ex­cept for Stock­well, who lives in Red­wood City, Cal­i­for­nia.

They are among seven for­mer eBay em­ploy­ees charged in the case, in which the Mas­sachusetts cou­ple had other disturbing items sent to their home, in­clud­ing a fu­neral wreath and a bloody pig Hal­loween mask.

They are all charged with con­spir­acy to com­mit cy­ber­stalk­ing and con­spir­acy to tam­per with a wit­ness. Their lawyers ei­ther de­clined to com­ment or didn’t im­me­di­ately re­turn emails seek­ing com­ment Wed­nes­day.

The em­ploy­ees also sent porno­graphic mag­a­zines with the hus­band’s name on them to their neigh­bor’s house, planned to break into the cou­ple’s garage to in­stall a GPS de­vice on their car, and posted the cou­ple’s names and ad­dress on­line, ad­ver­tis­ing things like yard sales and en­cour­ag­ing strangers to knock on the door if the pair wasn’t out­side, of­fi­cials said.

The sus­pects en­gaged in a “sys­tem­atic cam­paign fu­eled by the re­sources of a Fortune 500 com­pany to emo­tion­ally and psy­cho­log­i­cally ter­ror­ize this mid­dle-aged cou­ple in Nat­ick,” U.S. At­tor­ney Andrew Lelling said at a news con­fer­ence when charges were an­nounced in June.

Court doc­u­ments say the cou­ple was tar­geted af­ter their news­let­ter pub­lished an ar­ti­cle in Au­gust 2019 about a law­suit filed by eBay.

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