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Thread: You thought PayPal was bad? eBay security team harassed and cyberstalked a newletter-writing couple because they were critical of the company

  1. #21
    All Sorts of Sports gut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCR View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanlmar View Post
    eBay CEO Meg Whitman ran for Gov of California. People loved their shit

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    I never bid on an auction in my life with the exception of tickets to events back when buying physical tickets and having the time to have them mailed was a thing. Even then, I usually looked for the best Buy It now option. I’m not an extravagant person, but I’m a seat snob. I don’t want to go to anything if I’m not in first row behind dugout or front 3 rows for concert. I’m at maybe 5-10 of either in a year, and why bother?


    It becomes I’d rather watch a sporting event on tv thing. Football is exception where anywhere high 20-20 gives better view of action, but NFL games are poor experience in general. People who can’t hold their alcohol drinking excessively and obnoxious barfing in the aisles and picking on some opposing fan

    I have to think the rise of stubhub and seat geek and the myriad of other sites where people can sell their instant download tickets for any event put a dent into a pretty large segment of their business. I haven’t opened the site in probably close to a decade.
    Same here on almost all accounts. Definitely havent used ebay in like 15 years. Back when it was new though, it was pretty sweet. Only place I could find random band t-shirts around the turn of the century.

    And yeah, I only really enjoy going to MLB live anymore, as far as cost/enjoyment ratio. The Vikings played in Seattle a couple years recently, and the ticket prices for a halfway decent seat.....I'd rather spend that money on a plane ticket + room in Vegas and watch the game on TV there. Vegas would have been cheaper.

    NFL live is really becoming a rich man/poor man thing. Old Carolla bit about how an odd number of things are only applicable to rich or poor and not the middle, like "if you have an outdoor shower". Last few NFL games I went to felt like that. Gotta be rich to afford the lower seats/boxes, and the cheaper seats are filled by drunken hooligans who maxed out their only credit card to go to the game.

  2. #22
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    The most bizarre part of this story is how two high level eBay executives -- including the CEO -- were unable to grasp the concept that two completely differently entities could be criticizing their huge company, which had a monopoly in an industry where customer gripes are extremely common.

    "No chance that Fidomaster the Twitter Troll and this late-50s Massachusetts couple were independently criticizing eBay", they thought. "It has to be a conspiracy. And they must be stopped."

    That's like next-level crazy, and it's amazing that TWO executives got together and convinced themselves of this. Then they enlisted the help of the security department, and not one of those 7 people stepped forward to say, "Hey, maybe these are just regular folks being critical of our huge company, and we shouldn't do this?"

    It was full speed ahead to terrorize this couple into submission, and then use the former cop to play hero and "stop" the whole thing, with nobody being the wiser.

    These are the genius level minds running our tech companies nowadays.

  3. #23
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    Damn...just bought my kid some used golf clubs on eBay.

     
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      NickyPipes: Brother that is a nice gift

  4. #24
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Here's some of the charging documents:

    https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-conte...rging-Docs.pdf

    The first 53 pages are charging Harville and Baugh, and are more detailed, explaining basically the entire plot, including screen shots of things like the sexual Craigslist ads. Definitely worth a read, or at least a quick browse (I read it all).

    The second 15 pages are more of a summary, and are charging Gilbert, Zea, Popp, and Stockwell.

    From these documents, I further learned:

    - Baugh was basically directing everything, and should get the most prison time by far, especially since he didn't plead guilty.

    - Harville seems to have been the second-in-command here, and also had a large role in trying to mislead the Natick police department, as did Gilbert.

    - Stephanie Popp created a second Twitter account which was nastier than the first. At one point, she used two fake Samoan accounts to talk to each other on Twitter in order to state their intentions to come down to the Steiners' house, and presumably harm Ina Steiner. One of the messages read, "20 yrs of lies n distroin familys... dunt b proud of dat u wurthless BITCH!!! i wil distroy ur family n bizness 2... C how u like it...@Elei_Tui wen r we goin 2 visit her in natik???" (Popp was also behind the sexual Craigslist ads, as well as a fake ad for a major yard sale at the Steiner's house.)

    - All of the text messages between the conspirators were obtained, including those via Whatsapp. The document claims they got the message from Apple, which is a bit disturbing privacy-wise, since Whatsapp is not an Apple product. The method utilized to obtain these messages was not disclosed.

    - Amazingly, despite being very aware of a big investigation by Natick PD, Baugh and Gilbert were still considering breaking into the Steiners' garage and putting the GPS device on their car. They ultimately decided not to do it, but it was decided they might later after everything cooled down.

    - They went into excuse mode when Zea's rental was identified, and when Zea's Santa Clara residency was tied to the city where the pizza gift cards were purchased. However, they were still fairly confident that there wasn't enough evidence against them, and focused on making it look like they were in Boston to investigate the Samoan Twitter users (the ones Popp created), out of concern for the Steiners. They hoped the pizza thing would be dismissed as a coincidence, explaining that "most eBay employees live in Santa Clara", implying that it could be a rogue employee doing it which hadn't yet been identified. Of course, none of this worked.

    - Popp and Zea were tasked with monitoring Natick police radios during the surveillance of the Steiners, and to warn the others if the police had been called regarding the matter.

    - As all the shit was hitting the fan, the conspirators agreed (at Baugh's direction) not to talk to eBay's lawyers, and to attempt to stick together in order to prevent the truth from coming out.

    These indictments did not yet mention Philip Cooke, so eBay had incorrectly believed they didn't know about him, and then promoted him. They also wiped data from his phone. Only later did they fire him, when they learned he was the one referred to as "Supervisor 1", and that he'd soon be charged.

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    BUMP

    There were supposed to be more sentences handed down on September 28, but I don't see any articles about them. Wonder if it got delayed.

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  7. #27
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    PFA Radio shows about it:

    8/5/21:
    https://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/sh...-From-the-Bike
    3:32:15 mark

    11/13/22:
    https://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/sh...oker-Powerball
    2:38:21 mark

  8. #28
    Platinum FRANKRIZZO's Avatar
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    Yes I saw this on 60 minutes today. 60 Minutes also had a piece on Charles Barkley and how he is making more money then he did as an nba player. Biggest thing about Charles Barkley was when he stiffed a casino and they took out a full page add on well known publication about this transgression. He was shamed into making the payment. Guy who started campaign against couple got like a 70 mill severance package.
    Last edited by FRANKRIZZO; 03-26-2023 at 06:56 PM.

  9. #29
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Here's the most detailed article I found so far. It's in the NY Times.

    It explains a lot more, and much of this info came from one of the female conspirators, Veronica Zea, who is 26.



    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/26/t...g-scandal.html


    Two high level eBay executives, CEO Devin Wenig and communications director Steve Wymer, were apparently infuriated with the Steiners, for reasons which aren't clear. For some reason their small newsletter was really irritating the eBay top brass, despite not doing anything particularly offensive besides being critical.

    This led the eBay security team to erroneously believe that a Twitter troll named "Fidomaster", who routinely bashed eBay, was in cahoots with the Steiners to make the company look bad. Thus, a very clumsy plan was born to figure out Fidomaster's identity, and harass both him and the Steiners into submission. However, Fidomaster never took the bait (they tried to trick him into appearing at a hotel to get a "thumb drive which is incriminating against eBay executives"), and they instead just went forward with harassing the Steiners instead, figuring he was closely associated with them anyway.

    Apparently comms director Wymer wrote at one point, "Ms. Steiner and Fidomaster have seemingly dedicated their lives to erroneously trashing us. I genuinely believe these people are acting out of malice and ANYTHING we can do to solve it must be explored. Whatever. It. Takes."

    At this point, Wymer and Wenig have not been charged, but they're being sued.

    James Baugh decided to pattern the harassment of the Steiners after the 1988 movie "Johnny Be Good", which featured scenes of a football coach enduring various forms of harassing deliveries sent to his house. Baugh was apparently obsessed with movies, and required employees to repeatedly watch clips of various films which he felt were relevant to their experiences at the company, or to their loyalty. What a psycho.

    Read the NY Times article. It's a very interesting story.
    Sorry I don't buy this story. If i'm wrong I sincerely apologize to all who are offended.

    Hmmm so CEO Devin Wenig and the Steiner's (and probably most of their respective families and close friends) are members of the tight nit NY NJ Jewish community?
    Steve Wymer, not Jewish has alot of money. Can easily settle a high six, low seven figure payout.

    "Two high level eBay executives, CEO Devin Wenig and communications director Steve Wymer, were apparently infuriated with the Steiners, for reasons which aren't clear. For some reason their small newsletter was really irritating the eBay top brass, despite not doing anything particularly offensive besides being critical."

    Hold up, they didn't both spontaneously become outraged and decide to attack the Steiners over dumb shit. One pitched the idea to the other, ratcheted up the fake outrage and probably nudged the other along.

    Blahahahaha "For reasons which aren't clear. For some reason..." No reason at all huh.
    Bullshit
    I suspect the Steiners fell on hard times (newsletter lol) and thru acquaintances arranged this elaborate ruse to squeeze ebay out of a few shekels and maybe even Steve Wymer.
    Cliffs
    CEO Wenig gets the ball rolling against the Steiners, nudges Wymer and the underlings along. Since this is from the very top (CEO) they go full retard and end up going to jail.
    The Steiners will eventually get a nice payout, Wymer and Ebay will get a haircut. A couple underlings got fucked but you can't have an omelet without cracking some eggs.


    Easy mark, so fucking pwned.

  11. #31
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    The Steiners are proceeding with their lawsuit against eBay and its executives who allowed this to occur, and in fact have amended it based upon new information that has come out.

    Apparently eBay acknowledged via a Power Point presentation to the DOJ in March 2021 that there was criminal behavior, and begged the department not to criminally charge the company. However, in March 2023 it came out that indeed the DOJ has gone forward with criminally investigating eBay. This has been added to the Steiners' lawsuit, including info from the Power Point.

    Also, eBay has set aside $64 million to pay for all of this, which includes both their eventual settlement/loss to the Steiners and their likely fine by the feds.

    So this is going to cost eBay a fortune, all because some idiots wanted to stop a tiny newsletter that almost nobody read.

    What morons.



    Article about recent adjustments to lawsuit: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/03/...ized-tortured/

    Article about the criminal investigation against eBay and the $64 million: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/03/...stalking-case/

  12. #32
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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    BUMP

    The Steiners are proceeding with their lawsuit against eBay and its executives who allowed this to occur, and in fact have amended it based upon new information that has come out.

    Apparently eBay acknowledged via a Power Point presentation to the DOJ in March 2021 that there was criminal behavior, and begged the department not to criminally charge the company. However, in March 2023 it came out that indeed the DOJ has gone forward with criminally investigating eBay. This has been added to the Steiners' lawsuit, including info from the Power Point.

    Also, eBay has set aside $64 million to pay for all of this, which includes both their eventual settlement/loss to the Steiners and their likely fine by the feds.

    So this is going to cost eBay a fortune, all because some idiots wanted to stop a tiny newsletter that almost nobody read.

    What morons.



    Article about recent adjustments to lawsuit: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/03/...ized-tortured/

    Article about the criminal investigation against eBay and the $64 million: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/03/...stalking-case/

    Imo fair compensation to the Steiners would be absolute max $200k and that's really being generous. If they get over a million that would be a perversion of justice. imo

    Also I heard Druff and Traderusky discussing how they were surprised that some of the Ebay people got top notch jobs in other companies. There's only one possible reason they were allowed to get such jobs, my version of events posted above must be pretty close to the mark. They're actually victims of a shakedown more than they're bullies to the Steiners.
    “They have surpassed all nations in impertinent fables, in bad conduct and in barbarism.”—François-Marie Voltaire

  14. #34
    Gold Kuntmissioner's Avatar
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    :bump

    https://archive.ph/GloQS

    $3M fine

  15. #35
    Gold Ryback_feed_me_more's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    BUMP

    The Steiners are proceeding with their lawsuit against eBay and its executives who allowed this to occur, and in fact have amended it based upon new information that has come out.

    Apparently eBay acknowledged via a Power Point presentation to the DOJ in March 2021 that there was criminal behavior, and begged the department not to criminally charge the company. However, in March 2023 it came out that indeed the DOJ has gone forward with criminally investigating eBay. This has been added to the Steiners' lawsuit, including info from the Power Point.

    Also, eBay has set aside $64 million to pay for all of this, which includes both their eventual settlement/loss to the Steiners and their likely fine by the feds.

    So this is going to cost eBay a fortune, all because some idiots wanted to stop a tiny newsletter that almost nobody read.

    What morons.



    Article about recent adjustments to lawsuit: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/03/...ized-tortured/

    Article about the criminal investigation against eBay and the $64 million: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/03/...stalking-case/

    Imo fair compensation to the Steiners would be absolute max $200k and that's really being generous. If they get over a million that would be a perversion of justice. imo

    Also I heard Druff and Traderusky discussing how they were surprised that some of the Ebay people got top notch jobs in other companies. There's only one possible reason they were allowed to get such jobs, my version of events posted above must be pretty close to the mark. They're actually victims of a shakedown more than they're bullies to the Steiners.
    Bullshit Entropy. Thats just insane. The story became pretty clear wtf Ebay and those woke asshats in NorCal did. Theyre gonna get millions and its gonna be due to punitive damages

  16. #36
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Click on the link posted by Kuntmissioner, and you'll see some interesting new details about the origins of this.

    It was long assumed that the plan was hatched in 2019. However, it turned out that it was hatched in 2018, and by the then-VP of global operations named Wendy Jones. In previous coverage of this, Jones was not mentioned at all.

    Jones wrote, "We have to win hearts and minds to make it and Ina is more destructive with sellers than you guys give her credit for.... Talk to you a bit about how we get this place fighting and not whining ... it’s pervasive and destructive. I am ALL IN and we can do this- we just need more fight from more people - including our leaders!"

    Jones also wrote, "We should clap back at Ina - this is a good thing and we should tell them that. ..i know comms doesn’t want us to engage with them, but I want to."

    Unfortunately, none of this is prosecutable, because Jones did not directly specify that the Steiners should be harassed illegally. She could claim that she meant eBay should sue the or run a PR campaign to counter their website, and no evidence could be presented to debunk that.

    More incriminating were the messages by Steve Wymer, the chief communications officer. Wymer had been mentioned before, and I had always wondered why he wasn't charged, as it seemed he was both aware of the harassment and somewhat directed it.

    He wrote things such as, "How can we promote it just to ‘eff with her? Totally diminishing for her."

    In a really incirminating exchange, Jones seemed to not want to go forward with the campaign to harass the Steiners, and emailed Wymer, "Jim Baugh came to me with some thoughts and I told him to stand down and leave it alone."

    Wymer responded, "You are being too kind... tell him to be my advisor on this issue // Some times you just need to make an example out of someone. Justice// We are too nice. She needs to be crushed."

    Wymer then wrote later in 2019 about the Steiners, "I want to see ashes. As long as it takes. Whatever it takes."

    Wymer was named in a civil suit by the Steiners, which hasn't been adjudicated yet.


    I still don't understand why a gigantic company like eBay was so intimidated by a small 1990s-looking website (with a 1990s-type name, no less) wihch reached a tiny percentage of eBay sellers. It's not like they were harassing a major competitor, or the editor of a huge, well-read publication. This would be like T-Mobile sending people to harass me because I've written negative things about them on PFA. Absolutely insane.

    It's even more insane when you think about the fact that eBay is -- and basically always has been -- a monopoly. Can you think of any prominent general purpose auction sites on the web, aside from eBay? I'm not just talking about now -- I'm talking about at any point. The few that have tried to compete with eBay have either failed or never caught on (usually both).

    Even if the Steiners convinced some sellers that eBay was shit, so what? Where else would the sellers go?

  17. #37
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    When the Steiners' civil suit is done, I will try to make contact with them and invite them on radio.

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