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Former eBay execs get prison time for ‘extreme’ harassment campaign against couple

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Two former eBay Inc. security officers accused Thursday of threatening, harassing, and intimidating a Massachusetts couple after an online newsletter angered the company’s then-CEO. was sentenced to imprisonment.

Jim Bo and David Harville are serving 57 and 24 months, respectively, for their roles in a massive harassment campaign that included sending the couple a cockroach, a funeral wreath, and a bloody Halloween pig mask. I was sentenced to imprisonment.

U.S. District Judge Patti Salis, who ruled at a hearing in Boston, said it was an “unimaginable” scheme fueled by the “toxic culture” of Silicon Valley e-commerce firms.

“It was extreme and outrageous,” Salis said.

After pleading guilty to cyberstalking-related charges, she ordered eBay’s former senior director of safety and security, Baugh, and former director of global resiliency, Harville, to pay fines of $40,000 and US$20,000, respectively. rice field.

From Beau’s guilty plea in April:

In court, they each apologized to David and Ina Steiner, a married couple from Natick, Massachusetts, who created the newsletter EcommerceBytes and said they were mercilessly terrorized by eBay employees.

“As eBay agents, they made our lives a living hell,” David Steiner told the judge.

ridiculous claims

Prosecutors said senior executives viewed the newsletter as critical of eBay and a threat to its business, and in August 2019, then-CEO Devin Wenig told another executive, Texted that it was time to “throw her” by mentioning Ina Steiner.

Wenig, a former Thomson Reuters executive who stepped down as eBay CEO in September 2019, was not charged, but seven others were. I had no knowledge at all,” he said.

At a conference held in Washington DC on November 8, 2018, the then-CEO of eBay, Devin Wenig, was shown. Wenig was reported to be offended by comments in the couple’s newsletter, but he denied any involvement in the campaign directed at them. (Mundell Gunn/AFP/Getty Images)

The campaign was overseen by former Central Intelligence Agency employee Baugh, who, according to his lawyers, felt pressure to do something.

At Bau’s direction, the Steiners received anonymous and harassing Twitter messages, bizarre emails and unwanted parcels, including spiders and books on how to survive the loss of a spouse, prosecutors said.

It is also alleged that pornographic magazines bearing the husband’s name were sent to the neighbor’s house and Craigslist ads were placed inviting parties to have sexual relations at the victim’s home.

Unresolved civil litigation

According to prosecutors, other eBay employees involved include Harville, whom Beau hired as a contractor for a “operation” to monitor the Steiners and try to install GPS trackers in their cars. I was.

EBay apologized to the Steiners last year.

“The misbehavior of these former employees was wrong. We will do what is fair and appropriate to address what Steiner experienced,” the company said. “The events of 2019 should never have happened.” And as eBay has expressed to the Steiners, we are deeply sorry for what they have endured.”

The couple has sued the company, Wenig and others, and in the spring the Boston Globe reported that attempts to settle the case out of court have so far failed.

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