eBay Cyberstalking Plot — Executive Sentenced to Almost 5 Years
Former eBay executive James Baugh, the former Senior Director of Safety and Security has been sentenced to 57 months behind bars plus two years of supervised release and fined $40,000. This is for his role in the eBay cyberstalking plot which involved harassing, both electronically and physically, Ina and David Steiner, the creators of popular eBay news site EcommerceBytes.
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A second executive David Harville, eBay’s former director of global resiliency, was sentenced to two years in prison plus two years supervised release and fined $20,000 for his role in the harassment campaign directed at the Steiners.
The details of the eBay cyberstalking plot sound like something straight out of a movie and are not what people would expect from everyday life involving a global brand name and a small independent media outlet.
Harville and Bough were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit stalking through interstate travel and through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts of stalking through interstate travel, and two counts of stalking through facilities of interstate commerce.
Baugh had the higher sentence as he was additionally convicted of two counts of witness tampering, and two counts of destruction, alteration, and falsification of records in a federal investigation.
Without going into the horrific details of the eBay cyberstalking campaign that the Steiners went through, through 2019 they were victim to receiving anonymous deliveries including a fetal pig, a funeral wreath, and live insects. They were also subject to having Craigslist ads posted advertising sex parties at the couple’s home, and finally having a GPS tracker put on their car.
Devin Wenig Next in The eBay Cyberstalking Crosshairs
Whilst the above cases were criminal investigations it is believed by many observers that both Baugh and Harville were hung out to dry by the eCommerce giant as fall guys to try and take the attention away from implication former CEO Devin Wenig and CCO Steve Wymer.
Wenig very quickly and somewhat mysteriously departed the company in late 2019 which many now speculate was due to his alleged involvement in the eBay cyberstalking scandal. It did cost eBay to the tune of $57 Million to facilitate this, which it looks like the Steiners’ will be coming for a chunk of.
Ina and David filed a civil case against Wenig, and Wymer, alleging that the pair of men were pulling the strings of Harville, Baugh, and other co-conspirators in the eBay cyberstalking plot. Specifically, the Steiners filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, lawsuit against the pair.
“At this point, an independent investigation has said that Mr. Wenig had no knowledge and the prosecutors in the case have made it clear that Baugh was responsible. Devin never told anyone to do anything unethical or illegal and if he had known about it, he would have stopped it,” a spokesperson for Wenig said
While in a civil case there will be no criminal punishments handed down meaning the pair will avoid any prison time for their involvement, the monetary reimbursement for the years of mental hardship could, and should be very significant.
At eSeller365, we sincerely hope that David and Ina both get the closure and compensation they deserve for what they have had to endure. They are veterans in the eCommerce news space and have our utmost respect. This small step of justice is hopefully just the start.
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Dave is a Co-Founder of eSeller365. For over 10 years he has been involved with eCommerce with a particular interest in the marketplaces and the huge opportunities available for sellers when utilizing a multi-channel strategy. After a year of being the UK’s youngest eCommerce consultant, he built an education platform called UnderstandingE that showed the world how to utilize Magento as the “Third Generation of Multi-Channel software”.
Dave has also created a YouTube channel dedicated to entrepreneurship and eCommerce as well as a podcast dedicated to mental health awareness. When Dave isn’t working his main interests include learning and playing Chess, researching the Crypto and NFT space, and trying to find the nearest beach.