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.