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09/30/2022

Two former eBay executives sentenced for cyberstalking

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Two former eBay security executives will serve prison terms for online harassment.

Prison terms await two former high-level eBay security executives who pled guilty to leading a harassment campaign against two e-commerce bloggers.

James Baugh, former eBay senior director of safety & security, and David Harville, former eBay director of global resiliency, have been sentenced to prison by a federal judge in Massachusetts for their roles in a cyberstalking campaign against the editor and publisher of an online newsletter that eBay executives viewed as critical of the company.

[Read more:Former eBay employees charged with harassing bloggers]

Baugh and Harville, who were terminated in September 2019 with four other former eBay security personnel, took part in targeting a married couple living in Natick, Mass. who posted negative commentary about eBay in an online blog they published.

Actions taken against the couple Between approximately Aug. 5 and Sept. 6, 2019 are said to have included sending them a Halloween mask of a bloody pig face, as well as a funeral wreath, a book on surviving the death of a spouse, and live cockroaches and spiders; sending pornography in the husband’s name to neighbors; and planning to break into their garage and placing a tracking device on their car. Neither the company nor any current eBay employee was indicted. 

U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris sentenced Baugh, 47, to 57 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Baugh was also ordered to pay a fine of $40,000. Harville, 50, was sentenced to two years in prison and two years of supervised release. Harville was also ordered to pay a fine of $20,000.

On April 25, 2022, Baugh pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit stalking through interstate travel and through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts of stalking through interstate travel, two counts of stalking through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts of witness tampering and two counts of destruction, alteration and falsification of records in a federal investigation. 

On May 12, 2022, Harville pleaded guilty to 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.

Harville and Baugh were arrested and charged in June 2020. Co-conspirators and former eBay employees Philip Cooke, Brian Gilbert, Stephanie Popp, Veronica Zea and Stephanie Stockwell, previously pleaded guilty for their roles in a conspiracy to cyberstalk the victims. Cooke was sentenced in July 2021 to 18 months in prison. Gilbert, Popp, Zea and Stockwell are awaiting sentencing.

“Mr. Baugh and Mr. Harville used the Internet’s power to harass and intimidate a couple who did nothing other than publish content that our First Amendment protects,” U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said in an official statement. “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. The government’s investigation continues”