A Former eBay Employee Has Been Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison For Cyberstalking Campaign

A former security operations manager for eBay Inc. was sentenced to 18 months in prison Tuesday for his involvement in a massive campaign to terrorize and intimidate a Massachusetts couple editor and publisher of an online newsletter. Philip Cooke pleaded guilty in October for committing cyberstalking and conspiracy to manipulate witnesses for his part.

Cooke, A retired police captain in Santa Clara, Calif, was sentenced for “abominable” actions taken by him. He conspired with other employees and started harassing the couple because company executives were upset about an article regarding a lawsuit filed by eBay accusing Amazon.

“It’s almost unfathomable to me,” U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs said during sentencing, “I’m not sure if I saw it on television, I would find it believable,” Reuters reported.

According to federal prosecutors, several other eBay employees led by executives have also pleaded guilty to the scheme. They directed threatening messages to the Steiners in 2019. They sent disturbing deliveries involving live spiders, a Halloween mask of a bloodied pig head and a book titled “Surviving Loss of a Spouse” to the couple’s house.

According to Cooke’s lawyers, his role in the campaign was limited and that he tried to warn his colleagues not to send threatening messages or disturbing deliveries.

Former eBay CEO David Wenig is named as a defendant in the case filed by Steiners. However, he was the chief at the time of the harassment campaigns and has not been charged by the authorities. He had no involvement in the campaign and made a surprise exit from the company in September 2019.

In a statement responding to that lawsuit, eBay apologized to the couple and said that it fully cooperated with authorities during their inquiry. “The events from 2019 should never have happened. Again, we are very sorry for what the couple endured.”

“The misconduct of these former employees was wrong, and we will do what is fair and appropriate to try to address what the Steiners went through,” eBay told FOX.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *