Former eBay execs get jail time for 'extreme' harassment advertising campaign in the direction of couple

Two former eBay Inc safety executives have been sentenced to jail on Thursday for ending up a advertising campaign to harass and intimidate a Massachusetts couple through threats and disturbing house deliveries after their on-line e-newsletter drew the ire of the agency’s then-CEO.

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

U.S. District choose Patti Saris, who imposed the sentence all through hearings in Boston, referred to as it a “arduous-to-think about” scheme fuelled by a “poisonous tradition” on the Silicon Valley e-commerce agency.

“It was extreme and outrageous,” Saris mentioned.

She ordered Baugh, eBay’s former senior director of safety and safety, and Harville, its former director of world resiliency, to additionally pay fines of $forty,000 and $20,000 US, respectively, after pleading responsible to cyberstalking-associated expenses.

From Baugh’s responsible plea in April:

In court docket, they every apologized to David and Ina Steiner, a married couple in Natick, Mass., who produce the e-newsletter EcommerceBytes and spoke of being relentlessly terrorized by eBay’s workers.

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

Lurid allegations

Prosecutors mentioned senior executives deemed the e-newsletter 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 completely different of us have been. A spokesperson mentioned Wenig had “fully zero knowledge” of the actions they undertook.

Then-eBay CEO Devin Wenig is proven at a convention in Washington, D.C., on Nov. eight, 2018. It was reported that Wenig was upset over suggestions inside the couple’s e-newsletter, however he has denied any involvement inside the advertising campaign directed at them. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty photographs)

Overseeing the advertising campaign was Baugh, a former Central Intelligence agency worker who, based mostly on his lawyer, felt stress to do one factor.

At Baugh’s route, the Steiners obtained nameless, harassing Twitter messages, bizarre emails, and undesirable house deliveries like spiders and a e book on surviving the dearth of a companion, prosecutors mentioned.

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

Civil case excellent

Prosecutors mentioned completely different eBay workers involved included Harville, who Baugh recruited with a contractor for an “op” to surveil the Steiners and to try unsuccessfully to place in a GPS tracker on their automotive.

EBay apologized to the Steiners final 12 months.

“The misconduct of these former workers was mistaken, and we’re going to do what’s truthful and acceptable to intention to deal with what the Steiners went through,” the agency mentioned. “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 agency and Wenig, amongst others, with the Boston Globe reporting inside the spring that makes an try to settle the lawsuit out of court docket have thus far failed.


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