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Last defendant in eBay stalking case has cancer, sentencing delayed

The judge will await a health update next year.

The alleged deliveries to a Natick couple included a Halloween mask featuring a bloody pig face and the book “Grief Diaries: Surviving the Loss of a Spouse.” ebay cyberstalkingHandout via FBI Boston

The federal judge responsible for sentencing Brian Gilbert, the final criminal defendant in the bizarre stalking of a Natick couple, delayed the proceeding until next year.

Gilbert, a former senior security manager at eBay, is being treated for a cancerous tumor with a three-month course of chemotherapy and cannot travel to Boston right now, his lawyer, Miranda Kane, told US District Judge William Young on Wednesday. Young agreed to delay sentencing and scheduled a status conference in March 2023 for an update on Gilbert’s health.

“He will not be in a position where he can come to Boston to be sentenced ... before the second quarter of 2023,” Kane told Young.

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Assistant US Attorney Seth Kosto, lead prosecutor in the case, told the judge he agreed that “it seems appropriate to defer.”

Lt. Brian Gilbert, left, and Captain Phil Cooke are awarded with the Distinguished Service Award from the Santa Clara Police Department in May 2016. Both were involved in an eBay harassment conspiracy. Santa Clara Police Department

Gilbert was among seven former eBay workers who pleaded guilty to criminal charges over the 2019 stalking and harassment of David and Ina Steiner. The Natick couple published an online newsletter that covered eBay and drew the ire of top eBay executives. That prompted Gilbert’s boss, Jim Baugh, to concoct a scheme that included sending the Steiners threatening messages on Twitter and bizarre deliveries such as live cockroaches, a bloody pig mask, and a funeral wreath.

As part of the scheme, Gilbert, a former police captain in Santa Clara, flew to Boston and graffitied a fence in front of the Steiners’ home in June 2019. Gilbert later participated in meetings to organize the campaign against the Steiners and lied to Natick Police when they began investigating the scheme, according to an FBI affidavit filed in the case.

Six other former eBay workers have already been sentenced in the case, including Baugh, who received a prison term of almost five years. Three people who worked for Baugh received prison terms ranging from 12 months to 24 months. Two junior workers who cooperated with prosecutors received probation and suspended sentences.

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Aaron Pressman can be reached at aaron.pressman@globe.com. Follow him @ampressman.