This might be the craziest sh*t you have ever heard about eBay or executives, let alone eBay executives. In this true story James Baugh and David Harville went from eBay high-ups to crazed cyber stalking lunatics, according to Federal Prosecutors. Trust me, this tale would make the BEST EVER Netflix True Crime documentary! Get ready for a jaw-dropping blog post:
In 2019, James Baugh was the former senior director of safety and security of eBay while David Harville was the former director of global resiliency. - You will quickly realize the complete irony of these job titles, just keep reading:
There was a couple from Natick, Massachusetts named Ina and David Steiner who operated (and still operate!) a nifty, useful blog called eCommerce Bytes. Like most blogs that provide REAL information and HONEST journalism, articles often criticize companies, and in this case, in 2019 the company being lambasted on eCommerce Bytes was eBay… and this didn’t sit well with eBays executives. In fact, the article(s) made the exec’s so livid that they began plotting with each other via text message to destroy eCommerce Bytes.
Weeks later, when eCommere Bytes dropped another piece of eBay content, the executives put their plan into action, with the goal being to, quote, “Crush this lady” and “take her down”.
THE EVIL PLAN GOES INTO ACTION
James Baugh (reminder: he is “director of safety and security”) began holding internal board meetings to essentially “think tank” a reply to eCommerce Bytes articles and also prepare for war.
James began directing eBay employees to purchase prepaid debit cards and “burner phones” at local stores. They then obtained a VPN so they could create anonymous email accounts. They used the VPN and email addresses in combination with the debit cards and burner phones to place orders on the internet and have them shipped to the Steiner's. These orders included everything from live spiders to cockroaches to fly larvae and even a bloody pigs face. If that isn’t evil enough, the eBay employees also sent the Steiner's a book titled Grief Diaries: Surviving the Loss of a Spouse.
Apparently just sending mean, awful items to the Steiner's wasn’t enough. The eBay staff also purchased pornography and intentionally had it shipped to the Steiner's neighbors address, but made sure the name on the parcel said David and Ina Steiner.
THE HARASSMENT RAMPS UP
But sending terrible anonymous “gifts” wasn’t satisfactory punishment for these eBay execs to inflict upon this family. They ordered expensive pizzas and scheduled late-night delivery, so the pizza driver would bang on their Steiner's door and demand payment.
By Mid-August the eBay team began posting bogus ads on Craigslist using the Steiner's address. These ads encouraged strangers to come to the Steiner's home for sexual orgies. The advertisements asked people to come knock on the door and ring the doorbell located in the back of the house, “Anytime of day or night”.
More diabolical fake ads were posted that stated the Steiner's were selling all of their possessions and asked people to show up anytime.
The eBay team used Twitter to send eCommercy Bytes threatening messages in addition to doxxing the couple by publically posting their personal information including home address.
The insane eBay group then began secretly surveilling the Steiner's, their home and even their community.
At one point the plot was taken to an even more insane level; Harville and Baugh allegedly intended to break into the victims’ garage and install a GPS tracking device on their vehicle(s)..
The evil eBay execs realized that they could get in a lot of trouble for their actions so, according to Federal papers, they fabricated a paper trail to accuse the Steiner family of harassing THEM. But the fake paper trail wasn’t enough, James Baugh even went to police to file false reports against the Steiner's.
The investigation snowballed quickly and the FBI was brought in. … and this is where things took a turn for the worst for James and David and the cohort of eBay employees who participated in this outrageous plot.
According to Justice.gov, on October 8, 2020 a LOT of charges came out of this insane cyberstalking. Here’s the list:
Stephanie Popp, 32, of San Jose, Calif., eBay’s former Senior Manager of Global Intelligence, and Veronica Zea, 26, of San Jose, Calif., a former eBay contractor who worked as an intelligence analyst in eBay’s Global Intelligence Center (GIC), pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young scheduled sentencing for Feb. 25, 2021.
Popp and Zea were charged along with co-defendants Brian Gilbert, 51, of San Jose, Calif., a former Senior Manager of Special Operations for eBay’s Global Security Team and Stephanie Stockwell, 26, of Redwood City, Calif., the former manager of eBay’s GIC. Gilbert and Stockwell are scheduled to plead guilty on Oct. 29, 2020.
Former eBay executives, James Baugh and David Harville, were charged on June 15, 2020. Phil Cooke, another former member of eBay’s Global Security Team, was also charged and is scheduled to plead guilty on Oct. 27, 2020
The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
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