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U.S. v. eBay, Inc.

Docket Number

In January 2023, eBay Inc., the global ecommerce company, agreed to pay a $3 million criminal penalty for an August 2019 harassment and intimidation campaign targeting a Massachusetts couple in retaliation for their online coverage of eBay, and for its obstruction of the investigation that followed.   

eBay was charged criminally with two counts of stalking through interstate travel, two counts of stalking through electronic communications services, one count of witness tampering and one count of obstruction of justice and has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement. Pursuant to the agreement, eBay admitted to a detailed recitation of all the relevant facts about its conduct and agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $3 million, which is the statutory maximum fine for these six felony offenses. As part of this resolution, eBay will also be required to retain an independent corporate compliance monitor for a period of three years and to make extensive enhancements to its compliance program.  

According to eBay’s admissions, between approximately Aug. 5, 2019 and Aug. 23, 2019, Jim Baugh, eBay’s former Senior Director of Safety and Security, and six other members of eBay’s security team targeted the victims for their roles in publishing a newsletter that reported on issues of interest to eBay sellers. Senior executives at eBay were frustrated with the newsletter’s tone and content, and with the comments posted beneath the newsletter’s articles. The harassment campaign arose from communications between those executives and Baugh.  

Baugh and his co-conspirators executed a harassment campaign intended to intimidate the victims and to change the content of the newsletter’s reporting. The campaign included sending anonymous and disturbing deliveries to the victims’ home, including a book on surviving the death of a spouse, a bloody pig mask, a fetal pig and a funeral wreath and live insects; sending private Twitter messages and public tweets criticizing the newsletter’s content and threatening to visit the victims in Natick; and traveling to Natick to surveil the victims and install a GPS tracking device on their car. The harassment also featured Craigslist posts inviting the public for sexual encounters at the victims’ home.

The victims spotted the surveillance team and contacted local police. After learning of the Natick Police Department’s investigation, Baugh made false statements to police and internal investigators, and he and his team deleted digital evidence related to the cyberstalking campaign and falsified records intended to throw the police off the trail. 

eBay Inc. to Pay $3 Million in Connection with Corporate Cyberstalking Campaign Targeting Massachusetts Couple

  • Defendant Jim Baugh was sentenced in September 2022 to 57 months in prison.
  • Defendant David Harville, former Director of Global Resiliency, was sentenced in September 2022 to 24 months in prison.
  • Defendant Stephanie Popp, former Senior Manager of Global Intelligence, was sentenced in October 2022 to one year in prison.
  • Defendant Philip Cooke, a former Senior Manager of Security Operations, was sentenced in July 2021 to 18 months in prison and 12 months of home confinement.
  • Defendant Stephanie Stockwell, a former Manager of Global Intelligence, was sentenced in October 2022 to one year of home confinement. 
  • Defendant Veronica Zea, a contract intelligence analyst, was sentenced in November 2022 to one year of home confinement. 
  • Defendant Brian Gilbert, a former Senior Manager of Security Operations, has pleaded guilty and is scheduled for sentencing on July 18, 2024, at 2:00 pm in Courtroom 21 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston.

Case Name
U.S. v. eBay, Inc.
Updated July 9, 2024