Two former eBay employees arrested for involvement in aggressive cyberbullying campaign

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that two former eBay employees pleaded guilty to participating in a campaign of harassment and espionage against the editors of a newsletter that was considered by the company to be too critical. Brian Gilbert, 52, former special operations manager of the eBay security team, and Stephanie Stockwell, 26, former manager of the eBay Global Intelligence Center, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyberbullying and conspiracy to manipulate witnesses.

Former eBay executives James Baugh, 45, and David Harville, 48, were arrested and charged on June 15, 2020 as part of the same investigation.

Authorities mention that in August 2019, defendants deployed this campaign of harassment against a couple in Natick, Massachusetts. The harassed couple received constant messages from unknown accounts on Twitter, criticizing the content of the newsletter and threatening victims to raid their home and even install a GPS tracking device.

During his ailment, Gilbert admitted to drafting threatening Twitter messages to send to the newsletter’s editors, as well as planning the trip to Natick with other members of the company. The defendant also proposed taking a document file to the Natick Police Department (NPD) to make it appear that everything was something planned by the victims; Finally, Gilbert made false statements to local police about the reasons for his trip to Boston.   

On the other hand, Stockwell admitted to buying a laptop to harass victims from an anonymous email account, which he used to buy live spiders in order to send them to victims. The defendant also prepared a report of eBay’s “Person of Interest.” This was a list of fictional suspects to provide Boston police to evade some suspicions.

If found guilty, the defendants face a sentence of up to five years in prison plus three years of probation under supervision and a fine of up to $250,000 USD.