Former eBay Execs Indicted for Cyber-Stalking Campaign

Former eBay Execs Indicted for Cyber-Stalking Campaign

Two former eBay executives have been indicted with cyber-stalking charges connected to harassment of the editor and publisher of a newsletter critical of their former employer.

Former senior director of safety and security, James Baugh, and director of global resiliency, David Harville, were charged with multiple counts by a federal grand jury in Boston. The duo were previously charged by criminal complaint in June 2020 but the latest development raises the stakes significantly given the potentially lengthy jail terms associated with federal crimes.

The charges include: one count of conspiracy to commit stalking through interstate travel and through facilities of interstate commerce, two counts each of stalking through interstate travel and two counts of stalking through facilities of interstate commerce. Also on the docket was witness tampering, and destruction, alteration and falsification of records in a federal investigation.

Another five former eBay employees named as co-conspirators have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyber-stalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.

The alleged victims edit and publish a newsletter about e-commerce firms, which many senior eBay executives apparently disliked for content and reader comments critical of their company.

According to the court documents, Baugh, Harville and the co-conspirators hatched a plan in August last year to harass the Natick couple by: sending “anonymous and disturbing deliveries” to their home, sending private Twitter messages and public tweets critical of the newsletter’s content, threatening to visit the victims and traveling to Natick to install a GPS device on their car.

Baugh is alleged to have held meetings to plan the campaign and told one co-conspirator to make up allegations that the couple had made threats to eBay’s CEO and employees. Harville is said to have attempted to install the GPS device, and also bought tools to break into their garage.

He is also alleged to have lied to an eBay investigator who was asking questions after being contacted by the Natick Police, and deleted evidence from a corporate mobile phone after hearing about the criminal investigation.

The charges of conspiracy to commit stalking carry a sentence of up to five years, but those of witness tampering and destruction, alteration and fabrication of records in a federal investigation carry a maximum of 20 years.

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