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Former eBay exec admits he was a rotten piece of work who tried to destroy a Natick couple

James Baugh, eBay’s former senior director of safety and security, today admitted his role in attempting to ruin the lives of a Natick couple who wrote things that offended the e-commerce giant - through everything from orchestrating the delivery of a bloody-pig mask and live cockroaches to their home to trying to place monitoring devices on their car to lying to local police and FBI agents coming after him and his team of two-bit terrorists.

Baugh, 47, who lists a Silicon Valley address, 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, the US Attorney's office reports.

Baugh and several other eBay employees were rounded up in 2020 for their yearlong campaign against Ina and David Steiner, who publish a news site about e-commerce companies and whose articles attracted the ire of top eBay executives, including CEO Devin Wenig, who was ousted from his job after the company learned of the FBI investigation but who was never charged in connection with it.

Rather than writing an angry letter to the editor, eBay execs and their underlings instead sent offensive materials to the couple - and in their name, to their neighbors - posted Craigslist ads for sex parties at their house, threatened them via Twitter messages, traveled to Natick to conduct surveillance of the couple and, when local police started inquiring, lying to them and then even to eBay's lawyers about the stream of expletive-filled threatening Twitter messages they were sending the couple.

US District Court Judge Patti Saris scheduled sentencing for Sept. 29, 2022. According to the US Attorney's office:

The charges of conspiracy to commit stalking and stalking each provide for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution. The charges of witness tampering and destruction, alteration and fabrication of records in a federal investigation each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000 and restitution.

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Comments

Of insanity. I’m not a litigious person but I feel the the damages and penalties should be more severe for something as gross as this

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Voting closed 76

Cruelty.

Systematic does not imply pathological.

And could this guy have had a more cognitively dissonant job title? Ugh.

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Voting closed 33

This is just another example of how much our species is in decline.

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Voting closed 31

I don't want to be all bright-eyed and optimistic, but examples of human awfulness from 200 years ago, or 500, or 1000, or 2000, or 5000, are plentiful. Pick a century, and there are a whole lot of reasons you wouldn't want to live in it. The lesson is that you are not sufficiently pessimistic. The true pessimist's doctrine is: whichever way you move in time, things get worse. Everything is worse than everything else. This doctrine is both illogical and infallible.

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Voting closed 62

Agreed, this shows that when human achieve a level of success in life, they feel they are above criticism and consequences. Just like a person who got their money from blood diamonds who just bought twitter because they hurt his feelings.

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Voting closed 40

Everyone knows that "music today sucks" and it was so much better "back in the [earlier decade]".

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Voting closed 30

Because it ain't true.

Hail Olivia Rodrigo.

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Voting closed 22

Older Boomer Cousin: kids to day are so awful because they weren't spanked!

Me: your generation had the most epic crime rates in history

OBC: WE UNDERSTOOD RESPECT OR WE GOT THE BELT!

Me: (links to stats and studies of societal violence and prevalence of violent child discipline vs. violent crime)

Me: You grew up in same time period/household with (criminal cousin)

OBC: THAT'S NOT TRUE BECAUSE WE LEARNED RESPECT (enabler language about CC and how it wasn't his fault, etc.)

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Voting closed 37

So your misguided relative is, by implication, used to characterize all "boomers." Very entertaining, but not really enlightening.

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Voting closed 38

I don't know if you know any but when you have them on your FB roster you see loads of these postings about "kids today" and then the chorus of self-congratulatory inanity begins rolling.

So if you have no family or friends like this, you also don't get bonus postings of "we had the best music ..." and that other older boomer hit "we grew up with lead paint and didn't have seatbelts and we survived!"

One of their superiority complex scripts. What can I say? You want me to screen cap the chorus of retronarcissism and repost some of their memes? Sure thing.

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Voting closed 23

I guess so.

Y’all need the belt!!!!

Jk.

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Voting closed 25

Instead of saying "OK Boomer"
The correct phrase is "10-4 Dinosaur."

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Voting closed 10

Maybe let him out in twenty years if he rolls over on his bosses.

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Voting closed 39

an example of how every American or global corporation would behave under a corporate dictator in this country. their culture would change immediately such that offenses of this nature against any who dissent would be accepted as commonplace .

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Voting closed 47

This guy, while creepy as hell, didn’t physically harm anyone and could get more than 20 years in prison.

The cop that RAPES children for decades gets only 10 years (or less) in prison.

For all of you people who think the laws (and under sentencing judges) are good enough to protect children from child predators, I suppose you also think this sentencing makes sense and the cop doesn’t deserve more time.

You’re part of a sick problem in society and you know who you are. You care more about politics than people.

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Voting closed 29

being happy that corporate stalkers trying to ruin a couple's life have been caught and will be sentenced (something that hasn't yet happened so why the outrage?) does not make everyone on this site pro pedophile. What twisted logic brought you here? I know it feels triumphant to be the "only" one who gets it but the MAJORITY OF HUMANITY is against child rape. The sentencing of this guy has no relation to the sentencing of the cop who raped the kid - the fact that he was a cop might have chopped some time off his sentence when it should have added time to it. Maybe mandatory sentencing guidelines were a bad idea? It should make you happy that, once again, THE MAJORITY OF HUMANITY is against child rape but something tells me you won't react that way. Go outside and touch some grass my dude.

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Voting closed 36

Reports a child rapist getting 10 years in prison while this guy will likely get a harsher punishment.

There is your connection. Yes, new sentencing guidelines are needed.

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Voting closed 18

still has no connection to this case. It is possible to be glad that the ebay exec was found guilty (and STILL isn't sentenced yet), glad that the child raping cop was caught and convicted, and mad that he only got 10 years for it. It does NOT mean that everyone else but you is pro child rape. I can't understand this for you - you have to do the work yourself.

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Voting closed 13

“…. didn’t physically harm anyone”

That’s simply not true. Do you believe stress doesn’t have any physiological effects?

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Voting closed 44

I am aware of the internal physiological responses the body makes to stress.

I am also aware of the physical and long lasting psychological harm of child abuse.

Why on earth would you try to equate them?

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Voting closed 20

Why on earth would you try to equate them?

Aren't you the one who, unprompted, compared the two cases in the first place? And said that the eBay guy didn't cause physical harm? All I see after that is someone disagreeing with such assertion, I'm not really sure how that amounts to attempting equivalence.

I was trying to stay out of this thread but it just seems like you are operating in bad faith here.

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Voting closed 21

Yes that’s true. I found it both interesting and appalling that the judicial system is set up this way.

I said he didn’t physically harm them, which is also true. Did the psychological abuse lead to physiological reactions in the victim? Yes, of course it did, but why bring that up other than to equate the two forms of abuse?

There was no physical assault or abuse in this case and it is wrong that a man who raped children over the course of decades could get less of a sentence than a man who caused psychological stress to an adult couple over a one year period.

This eBay guy should still get some sort of punishment, obviously, but the fact that the charges for one year of psychological abuse against adults stack up to more than the charges for decades of raping children means these laws should be re-examined.

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Voting closed 20

You talk in riddles.

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Voting closed 21

I've seen a hell of a lot of strawmanning on this site, but "none of you want to publish pedophiles" is a whole new level.

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Voting closed 37

How did this get to be a discussion about Nabokov?

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Voting closed 27

but of course that doesn't make the typo above any less amusing:

Nabokov to James Laughlin (founder of New Directions), February 3, 1954:

Dear Laughlin,

Would you be interested in publishing a timebomb that I have just finished putting together? It is a novel of 459 typewritten pages.

(Post edited for clarity)

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Voting closed 24

I'm not in favor of a 20-year sentence, but it needs to be made very clear that corporations can't terrorize journalists without serious consequences. Other people besides him need to be charged, too.

(True justice would be to award the couple something like a 20% stake in eBay. I don't know if courts can do that, though.)

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Voting closed 40

This should be the start of fines and penalties, not the end because "bad guy is in jail now".

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Voting closed 20

You might want to consider taking a deep breath and maybe signing off of the Internet for a couple days. Maybe go outside and enjoy the sunshine for a while.

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Voting closed 37

You’re part of a sick problem in society and you know who you are. You care more about politics than people.

Looks like a strawman to me.

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Voting closed 37

To certain people here that feel the need to play politics when it comes to sentencing, particularly with abusers of children. I chose not to name any names, so yeah, it looks like it’s directed at no one, but it is not.

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Voting closed 18