A California man who oversaw security operations for eBay Inc.’s European and Asian offices will plead guilty to federal charges that he took part in an elaborate scheme to intimidate a blogger critical of the company, according to court records.
Philip Cooke, a former police captain in Santa Clara, California, will become the fifth defendant in the case to admit guilt. He will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with a witness.
The U.S. announced the cyberstalking charges against seven people earlier this year, accusing them of carrying out a harassment campaign against a suburban Boston couple who put out EcommerceBytes, an influential newsletter for the millions of merchants who peddle goods on eBay. The campaign allegedly included sending the couple a bloody pig mask, a funeral wreath and other threatening items.
According to prosecutors in Boston, Cooke approved creation of two anonymous Twitter accounts that shared threatening tweets about the e-commerce blogger and were designed to give the impression that eBay sellers were unhappy about the blog’s coverage of the company.
Cooke’s attorney, Susan Winkler, declined to comment.