A former eBay safety supervisor has been sentenced to 18 months in jail after serving to to orchestrate a batshit insane plot to terrorize a Massachusetts couple who sometimes criticized the corporate of their e-newsletter.
Philip Cooke, 56, is the primary of seven former high-level eBay staff to be sentenced in connection to the weird case—the likes of which concerned firm executives mailing macabre objects and stay bugs to their victims, stalking them on-line, and actually stalking them.
Cooke pled responsible to cyberstalking and witness tampering prices late final yr. 4 different members of the group have pled responsible to comparable prices and await sentencing, while two others face trial.
A former police captain in Santa Clara, Calif., Cooke labored as senior supervisor of safety operations for eBay’s World Safety Crew throughout the entire fiasco and has since admitted to being at a number of conferences whereby he and his co-conspirators mentioned a multi-phase plan of aggressive techniques to intimidate their targets.
These targets had been Ina and David Steiner, the publishers of an e-commerce newsletter that has sometimes written about and criticized eBay’s enterprise practices. The criticism apparently so enraged the corporate’s management that, in 2019, a scheme was cooked up by safety executives to frighten the bloggers straight.
That scheme concerned mailing the middle-aged couple stay spiders and cockroaches, pornographic magazines, threatening letters, a funereal wreath, and a bloody pig masks like some shit out of Noticed. The group additionally used on-line sock puppet accounts to ship nameless, threatening messages to their victims, whereas additionally conspiring to affix a GPS monitoring gadget to the couple’s automobile. The obvious ringleader, former Senior Director of Security & Safety and resident psycho James Baugh, additionally internally mentioned sending a “Samoan gang” to the Steiners’ home.
The boardroom crew from hell subsequently tried to cowl up all the horrendous shit they’d executed, which is why lots of them have now been convicted of witness tampering.
Ars Technica writes that Cooke was truly promoted by eBay and given a major pay bump some ten months after the stalking marketing campaign started and shortly earlier than the complete episode turned public in mid-2020.
Cooke’s lawyer has apparently blamed all of this abhorrent habits on a “consuming tradition” at eBay, which is a bizarre protection since most individuals simply get giggly or loud after they’re drunk, sometimes steering away from schemes to torture journalists.
Understandably, the Steiners are now suing eBay. The couple filed a big go well with in U.S. District Court docket for the District of Massachusetts searching for damages for emotional trauma and different authentic grievances, by which they accuse the corporate of getting “engaged in a coordinated effort to intimidate, threaten to kill, torture, terrorize, stalk and silence the Steiners, as a way to stifle their reporting on eBay.”
The sick joke of the complete episode is that every one this terribleness was impressed by eBay’s obvious worry of dangerous press, which they now have greater than loads of.