Two more former security staff from EBay have been sentenced for their parts in a harassment campaign against a pair of bloggers who were critical of the company.

Stephanie Popp, EBay’s former senior manager of global intelligence, got a year in prison and two years of probation. Stephanie Stockwell, the former manager of EBay’s Global Intelligence Center, was sentenced to two years of probation, with one year to be served in home confinement. The sentences, as detailed here, were handed down this week in a federal court in Boston.

The two Stephanies had pled guilty to aiding a harassment campaign in the summer of 2019 against David and Ina Steiner, a Massachusetts couple who publish eCommerceBytes, a newsletter for sellers on EBay’s auction-based marketplace.

Critical posts by Ina Steiner angered EBay’s then CEO Devin Wenig, who urged his PR chief, Steve Wymer, to “take her down,” according to court documents. There followed a campaign of intimidation involving threats of violence, the attempted installation of a GPS tracking device on the couple’s car and the sending of parcels that contained live insects, an embalmed pig’s fetus and a bloody Halloween pig mask, among other things. The AIM Group reported on it here and here.

Stockwell, at the direction of a supervisor who was sent to prison in September, bought a laptop for use in harassing the Steiners, and used an anonymous email account to order live spiders and a prepaid debit card to fund other elements of the campaign, according to court documents. 

Popp sent private and public messages over Twitter, ones that were drafted or approved by superiors, criticizing the blog’s content. The messages, written as if they were from unhappy blog readers, included threats to show up at the Steiners’ home. 

Two EBay supervisors who oversaw the campaign were given prison sentences in September. A third former security officer was sentenced to prison in July 2021.

Of the seven defendants in the case, just two more await sentencing: Brian Gilbert, senior manager of special operations for EBay’s Global Security Team, and Veronica Zea, an intelligence analyst in the same division.

 

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