Former eBay execs get jail time for ‘excessive’ harassment marketing campaign in opposition to 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 threats and disturbing dwelling 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 intensive 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, referred to 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 fees.

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 dwelling hell,” David Steiner instructed the decide.

Lurid allegations

Prosecutors stated senior executives deemed the publication essential 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 Pictures)

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

At Baugh’s course, the Steiners obtained nameless, harassing Twitter messages, weird emails, and undesirable dwelling deliveries like spiders and a e-book on surviving the lack of a partner, prosecutors stated.

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

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 attempt unsuccessfully to put in a GPS tracker on their automobile.

EBay apologized to the Steiners final yr.

“The misconduct of those former staff was fallacious, and we’ll do what’s honest and applicable to attempt to deal with what the Steiners went by,” 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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