In 2020, the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged former eBay employees Javier, James Bow, Stephanie Pope, Brian Gilbert, Stephanie Stockwell, Veronica Zea and Philip – Cook designed the harassment campaign against Ina and David Steiner, publishers of the EcommerceByte e-commerce publication. The group’s plan was to intimidate the Steiners over negative coverage of eBay in their publications.
Not only did the plan involve harassing the Steiners on Twitter and publishing their addresses online, it later escalated to mailing weird items to their home, as well as offline surveillance and harassment.
Javier pleaded guilty to five felony charges in a video call with a Boston federal court judge on Thursday. Javier flew from California to Boston with the intention of driving to Steiner’s home, breaking into their garage and installing a GPS tracking device in their car, according to initial court documents. Javier isn’t the only high-level figure involved either — Pope was a senior manager of global intelligence at eBay, Gilbert was a senior manager of special operations, Bowe was a senior director of safety and security at eBay, Stockwell Former manager of the company’s global intelligence center.
In April, Bao pleaded guilty to crimes related to the harassment scheme and faces up to 20 years in prison, with his sentencing set to take place on September 29, 2022. Pope, Stockwell, Gilbert and Cook all pleaded guilty in 2020, with Cook receiving an earliest sentence of 18 months in prison.