Ex-eBay Execs vs. EcommerceBytes, Feat. A Pig's Head

If you were told that two former eBay executives and five more employees/contractors were accused, and in some cases convicted, of cyber bullying two bloggers, would you believe it? Neither would we.

However, David Harville, ex-director of global resiliency at eBay, and James Baugh, the e-commerce firm’s former senior director of safety and security, were sent to prison on September 29, 2022. The former was sentenced to 57 months behind bars, plus two years of supervised release and fined $40,000, and the latter to two years plus two years supervised release and fined $20,000.

They were charged by the US Justice Department with participating in a plan in 2019 to harass and intimidate Ina and David Steiner, who publish the newsletter and website EcommerceBytes. The two bloggers were critical of eBay.

Five other former eBay employees/contractors allegedly took part in the cyberstalking campaign, including Philip Cooke, was sentenced to 18 months behind bars in July 2022, as well as Brian Gilbert, Stephanie Popp, Veronica Zea and Stephanie Stockwell, who are currently awaiting sentencing.

To silence the Steiner’s, the seven individuals are alleged to have harassed them online and offline between approximately August 5 and September 6, 2019.

The accusations include sending private Twitter messages and public tweets criticizing the newsletter’s content, sending threats to visit their hometown Natick, Massachusetts, to surveil them and install a GPS tracking device on their car, and even posting live insects, the severed head of a fetal pig, a funeral wreath, a pig’s head mask and a book about coping with the loss of a spouse to their house.

All the seven accused co-conspirators pleaded guilty.

In their civil complaint, the Steiner’s have also named as defendants former executives not charged by the government, including Devin Wenig, former CEO of eBay, Steven Wymer, former SVP and chief communications officer of eBay, security contractor Progressive FORCE Concepts, LLC and eBay itself.

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