Former eBay executives given prison time for cyberstalking scheme

eBay’s headquarters in San Jose, California, U.S.

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Two former eBay executives had been given prison time Thursday for their involvement in a cyberstalking scheme that focused a pair behind an e-commerce weblog that was perceived as crucial of the corporate.

James Baugh, eBay’s former senior director of security and safety, was sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison, whereas eBay’s former director of world resiliency, David Harville, was given two years behind bars. Both pleaded responsible to prices within the case.

Baugh, Harville, and a lot of different eBay executives in 2019 hatched a marketing campaign to harass Ina and David Steiner, the editor and writer of eCommercebytes, a web site carefully adopted by on-line sellers. Prosecutors stated the executives went after the couple after former eBay CEO Devin Wenig and different leaders inside the corporate had been enraged by their protection of the corporate.

What unfolded was a weird and convoluted “three-part harassment campaign” that was supposed to “intimidate” the Steiners and affect their reporting on the corporate, prosecutors stated in a press release.

EBay executives repeatedly despatched the couple harassing and threatening messages on Twitter. The marketing campaign escalated additional when the Steiners started to obtain “disturbing deliveries” to their dwelling outdoors of Boston, together with a e-book on surviving the loss of life of a partner, a bloody pig masks, a fetal pig, a funeral wreath and dwell bugs, prosecutors stated. Additionally, Craigslist posts appeared on-line inviting strangers to expertise sexual encounters on the victims’ dwelling. 

Baugh, Harville and others additionally traveled from California to the Steiners’ dwelling to surveil the couple. They hoped to put in a GPS tracker on the {couples}’ car, however the storage was locked, so Harville bought instruments to interrupt in, based on prosecutors. 

Five different eBay workers have pleaded responsible to conspiracy within the matter. 

“The defendants’ toxic brand of online and real-world harassment, threats, and stalking was outrageous, cruel and defies any explanation — all the more because these men were seasoned and highly paid security executives backed by the resources of a Fortune 500 corporation,” U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins stated in a press release. “Their behavior was reprehensible.”

An eBay spokesperson did not reply to a request for remark. Ina Steiner did not instantly return a request for remark. 

A spokesperson for Wenig stated an unbiased investigation has proven the previous eBay CEO had no data of the harassment marketing campaign. “Devin never told anyone to do anything unethical or illegal and if he had known about it, he would have stopped it,” the spokesperson stated.

Wenig, who resigned as CEO in 2019, shouldn’t be named within the case. The Steiners have filed a separate lawsuit towards eBay, Wenig and former senior vice chairman Steve Wymer. That case is pending.

“We believe everyone who played a role should be held accountable,” Ina Steiner wrote in a weblog publish on Wednesday.

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