Former eBay execs get prison time for ‘extreme’ harassment campaign against couple


Two former eBay Inc safety executives have been sentenced to jail on Thursday for finishing up a marketing campaign to harass and intimidate a Massachusetts couple by way of threats and disturbing residence deliveries after their on-line publication drew the ire of the corporate’s then-CEO.

Jim Baugh and David Harville have been sentenced to 57 and 24 months in jail, respectively, for his or her roles in an in depth harassment marketing campaign that concerned sending the couple cockroaches, a funeral wreath and a bloody Halloween pig masks.

U.S. District Decide Patti Saris, who imposed the sentence throughout hearings in Boston, known as it a “hard-to-imagine” scheme fuelled by a “poisonous tradition” on the Silicon Valley e-commerce firm.

“It was excessive and outrageous,” Saris stated.

She ordered Baugh, eBay’s former senior director of security and safety, and Harville, its former director of worldwide resiliency, to additionally pay fines of $40,000 and $20,000 US, respectively, after pleading responsible to cyberstalking-related costs.

From Baugh’s responsible plea in April:

In courtroom, they every apologized to David and Ina Steiner, a married couple in Natick, Mass., who produce the publication EcommerceBytes and spoke of being relentlessly terrorized by eBay’s staff.

“As brokers of eBay, they made our lives a residing hell,” David Steiner instructed the choose.

Lurid allegations

Prosecutors stated senior executives deemed the publication crucial of eBay and a risk to its enterprise, and in August 2019 then-Chief Govt Officer Devin Wenig texted one other govt that it was time to “take her down,” referring to Ina Steiner.

Wenig, a former Thomson Reuters govt who stepped down as eBay’s CEO in September 2019, was not charged, although seven different individuals have been. A spokesperson stated Wenig had “completely zero information” of the actions they undertook.

Then-eBay CEO Devin Wenig is proven at a convention in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 8, 2018. It was reported that Wenig was upset over feedback within the couple’s publication, however he has denied any involvement within the marketing campaign directed at them. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Photographs)

Overseeing the marketing campaign was Baugh, a former Central Intelligence Company worker who, in accordance with his lawyer, felt strain to do one thing.

At Baugh’s path, the Steiners obtained nameless, harassing Twitter messages, weird emails, and undesirable residence deliveries like spiders and a guide on surviving the lack of a partner, prosecutors stated.

It was additionally alleged that pornographic magazines with the husband’s identify on it have been despatched to a neighbour’s home, and a Craigslist advert posted inviting events to sexual encounters on the victims’ residence.

Civil case excellent

Prosecutors stated different eBay staff concerned included Harville, who Baugh recruited with a contractor for an “op” to surveil the Steiners and to strive unsuccessfully to put in a GPS tracker on their automotive.

EBay apologized to the Steiners final 12 months.

“The misconduct of those former staff was improper, and we’ll do what’s honest and acceptable to attempt to handle what the Steiners went by way of,” the corporate stated. “The occasions from 2019 ought to by no means have occurred, and as eBay expressed to the Steiners, we’re very sorry for what they endured.”

The couple have sued the corporate and Wenig, amongst others, with the Boston Globe reporting within the spring that makes an attempt to settle the lawsuit out of courtroom have up to now failed.


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