eBay workers who sent spiders to couple to plead guilty
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 highly 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.
The employees also sent pornographic magazines with the husband’s name on them to their neighbor’s house and planned to break into the couple’s garage to install a GPS device on their car, officials said.
Their lawyers either declined to comment or didn’t immediately return emails seeking responses Wednesday.
They are all charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with a witness.
The suspects engaged in “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 for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said at a June news conference when charges were announced.
An internal investigation was launched after San Jose, California-based eBay was notified by law enforcement of “suspicious actions by its security personnel,” company officials wrote in a prepared statement. The employees were ultimately fired, the company said.