Seven employees of eBay were charged with harassing a journalist couple, who were critical of the Company. Apparently, these seven employees, including David Harville, who was director – global resilience at the time, had come up with a plan to get even with Ina and David Steiner, publishers of a newsletter called EcommerceBytes.
All seven accused were senior managers at eBay. As part of their plan to stop the Steiners from publishing negative stories about eBay and scare them, they sent them boxes of spiders, live cockroaches, funeral wreaths, bloody animal face masks and even a book on how to deal with the loss of a spouse!
That wasn’t all. The seven posted the Steiners’ residential address online and sent them threats via fake social-media accounts too.
While all accused — James Baugh, Stephanie Popp, Brian Gilbert, Stephanie Stockwell, Veronica Zea, and Philip Cooke — were charged in June 2020, in connection with the plot, Harville is the last one to plead guilty in the case as per The Guardian.
It is reported that the plot was an orchestration of the senior leadership at eBay. After all, Popp was senior manager – global intelligence, Gilbert was senior manager – special operations. Baugh was senior director of safety and security, Stockwell was a manager for the Global Intelligence Centre.
Harville admitted to five counts of felony. As per the original case filed against him, he had flown down to Boston from California planning to break into the garage of the said journalists, to plant a GPS device in their car.
While Cook is to spend 18 months in prison, Baugh faces up to 20 years of imprisonment. Cook has already been sentenced, while others are yet to be sentenced.