back to article Ex-eBay security execs among six charged with harassing, threatening bloggers who dared criticize web tat souk

Six former eBay staffers, including two executives, were hit this week with criminal charges for allegedly serially harassing two bloggers who were critical of the internet tat bazaar. According to prosecutors in the US, director of safety and security James Baugh, 45, of San Jose, California; director of global resiliency …

  1. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Bunch of tossers

    Ebay that is, not the bloggers. Yeah they want to distance themselves from the accused NOW.. but knowing from first hand experience how they deal with criticism, I have NO problem believing that these people were working within company 'guidelines'.

    Pirates, because that what ebay are

    1. macjules

      Re: Bunch of tossers

      Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of scumbags

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bunch of tossers

      What I want to know is whether the blog is still up. The domain in mentioned in the article doesn't seem to be it.

      1. Imhotep

        Re: Bunch of tossers

        Yes, it is. I was curious and went to it yesterday.

      2. handle handle

        Re: Bunch of tossers

        How much severance was paid upon their termination?

  2. c1ue

    Indeed, how extremely unprofessional. Not that Ebay is a shining example of a company to begin with...

  3. Fazal Majid

    Omerta among CEOs is alive and well.

    “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” didn’t work so well for Henry II, but CEOs will bend over backwards to ensure fellow members of the kleptocracy are not held to account for their abuses.

    1. Fred Dibnah

      Re: Omerta among CEOs is alive and well.

      It worked out even worse for Thomas. Henry would have got off scot free if he hadn't had a conscience and punished himself for what he'd done. In today's corporate world he would have made a lousy CEO, feeling guilty and taking responsibility like that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Omerta among CEOs is alive and well.

        > Henry would have got off scot free if he hadn't had a conscience and punished himself for what he'd done.

        That's one interpretation.

        Beckett was made a saint by Pope Alexander III in only 3 years. Stories of miracles flourished and tourists from all over Europe started flocking to Canterbury in their thousands. Henry desperately needed to salvage his reputation - conscience may have played a small part.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Omerta among CEOs is alive and well.

          The Church has always used such deaths as publicity for their intrinsic need for martyrs. Much of their revered art of their proclaimed saints is on a sado-masochistic theme.

        2. Fazal Majid

          Re: Omerta among CEOs is alive and well.

          If the King hadn't atoned, the Pope would have put England under interdict, as Becket had previously.

  4. chivo243 Silver badge

    Rico anyone?

    This seems pretty organized. Would this fall under RICO statutes?

    1. Warm Braw

      Re: Rico anyone?

      The linked affidavit also alleges:

      When BAUGH, HARVILLE, Gilbert, Popp, Stockwell, Zea, and others learned that the NPD was making inquiries, they interfered with the investigation, either lying to the NPD about eBay’s involvement while pretending to offer the company’s assistance with the harassment, lying to eBay’s lawyers about their own involvement, or both. As the NPD and eBay’s lawyers began to close in on the truth, the Target Subjects deleted evidence that showed their involvement, further obstructing what had by then become a federal investigation.

  5. Sinical

    The Moral of This Story

    So the lesson here seems to be even eBay execs would rather buy their tat from Amazon than get fleeced on their own website?

    1. Lazlo Woodbine

      Re: The Moral of This Story

      Exactly my thoughts...

  6. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Yes, right.

    t although then-CEO Devin Wenig made "inappropriate" remarks about the bloggers, he did not authorize nor know about the alleged harassment

    CEO: Court-Exempted Officer.

    Thanks God there's always an underling to take the legal responsibility of CEO's decisions.

    1. robidy

      Re: Yes, right.

      He got himself a spot on the Forbes 2019 CEO list...a year after joining GM...nice teflon.

    2. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: Yes, right.

      Thanks God there's always an underling to take the legal responsibility of CEO's decisions.


      "I have a cunning plan, m'lord..."


  7. Mark192

    Use specific language

    Executive 1 texted Executive 2: “...If you are ever going to take her is the time.”

    'Take her down' unequivocally means kill her.

    Executive 2 appears to have interpreted "take her down" as 'be mean to her and make her cry'.

    Evil masterminds of evil organisations should be clear and explicit in their introductions.

    Instructional video from Mitchell and Web here:

  8. batfink

    That's awful

    Imagine sending pornography to live cockroaches. What kind of twisted mind would come up with such a thing?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: That's awful

      Prude! Cockroaches have a right to bash the bishop too!

      Or, if they don’t have bishops, how about mashing the mantis? They prey, after all...

      I’m already getting my coat.

  9. I am the liquor

    Fake pig's head

    If ebay send you a pig's head, I suppose it's par for the course that it'll turn out to be a fake one.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Fake pig's head

      Rank amateurs, back in the day, waking up with your horses head in bed with you was how the message was sent... Fake pig heads pfft!

      Yes, Mario Puzo's coat!

  10. Lotaresco
    Black Helicopters

    I find it interesting..

    That when the FBI want to pursue an investigation they are able to do the complicated and time-consuming job of collecting and collating information from numerous messaging systems, accounts, mobile devices etc. Yet when it comes to investigating political chicanery the same diligence and technical capability appears to be absent. Presumably the team(s) that investigate commercial and personal wrongdoing are much, much better at their jobs than the ones that investigate political corruption, bullying, harassment and downright treachery. I mean there, couldn't possibly be another explanation, could there?

  11. BebopWeBop

    Devin Wenig made "inappropriate" remarks about the bloggers, he did not authorize nor know about the alleged harassment.

    "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" - Henry II

    1. Ian K
      Big Brother

      A common problem

      That Mitchell and Webb Look Evil Genius:

  12. David Austin

    Did they think they would get away with it?

    The most compelling defence I can think of for them is this idea is so stupid and traceable why would we ever have done it?

    The moment you start sending physical items to people, that's a pretty solid paper trail for to follow - it's so laughably childish and naive I'm terrified this is the best they could think of, and none of them should ever hold any more power than a PHB ever again.

    1. Imhotep

      Re: Did they think they would get away with it?

      And these were their security people. It makes you wonder how effective they could have been in those positions.

  13. Doctor Huh?

    Streisand Effect, now with Federal Agents!!

    Thank you, eBay, for putting to lie the myth that Silicon Valley hires the best and brightest!

    I cannot fathom the stupidity of committing federal felonies in trying to intimidate into silence the Mom & Pop proprietors of an almost-completely-unknown blog, thereby bringing the blog to prominence. But what the article casually mentions is that these masters of intimidation and intrigue were talking about going after the Wall Street Journal next. I really wish the feds had left them alone long enough for that to happen. Watching the National Enquirer take on Jeff Bezos and "ruin" him by exposing him as a wealthy man who schtups beautiful women with a schlong so big that his shorts can't contain it was priceless entertainment. One wonders what geniuses like this could do with the Murdochs.

    1. a_yank_lurker

      Re: Streisand Effect, now with Federal Agents!!

      I would argue with the blunder stupidity exhibited often in Silly Valley they generally hire the rejects of well run companies. Also since they tend to those still in diapers they often get in trouble when a gray hair would know how to avoid the problem.

  14. James O'Shea Silver badge

    reason why I don't buy anything from eBay #341

    I simply don't trust them, and think that they're crooks facilitating disposal of stolen goods.

  15. myhandler

    So Kenton in Devs was based on these guys? Nice.

    1. I am the liquor

      Somehow I don't think that show would have been as compelling if Kenton had dealt with Sergei by posting him Halloween tat and porn mags.

  16. a_yank_lurker

    E-Bay et. al.

    I have been rather leery of E-Bay and the like from the start. A digital flea market does not appeal to me and in particular when buying something used I want to see and literally touch it before buying. Call old-fashioned but the risks of getting ripped off are too high for my tastes. From what I have seen of live flea markets, I am somewhat dubious of the people involved and by extension a digital flea market probably attracts same somewhat dubious people.

    So any site that tries to police these operations has a tough road and they providing a valuable service.

    1. Qumefox

      Re: E-Bay et. al.

      Actually you're much more likely to get ripped off selling on ebay than buying. Ebay's rules are very anti-seller for the most part. If someone buys something from you with paypal using a credit card, then does a charge back, you're pretty much SoL. Paypal is going to yank those funds back from you, or slap you with a negative balance and lock your account if you've already moved the funds out. All ebay will do in this situation is tell you to take it up with paypal and good luck with that. They're even worse to deal with than eBay.. Hell. Sellers can't even leave buyers negative feedback anymore when something like this happens.

      And regarding fake goods, most are very obvious if you have half a brain. And if your talking about some actually expensive item, like maybe a rolex, vehicles, etc. Well. I'm not sure why anyone would be willing to send thousands of dollars to someone else for an item sight unseen. That's just asking for trouble regardless of the selling medium. If the price of something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

      I've done a lot of business through ebay, and frankly have had many more issues with ebay regarding selling rather than buying.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's astonishing to me that a behemoth like ebay is upset by a mom and pop blogger website to the point they are prepared to use tactics like this

    Maybe we little people have more power than we think!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Odd that a superpower would be so upset about some protesters in front of a church that they would send the army in to clear them.

  18. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Ebay are just a bunch of intransigent arseholes. I once had a run-in with them after someone falsely claimed that a phone I'd sold them was broken. Ebay just took my money back and I had to wait weeks for it. Phone call after phone call to barely-English-speaking operatives who couldn't care less about anything. Just left a nasty taste the whole thing. They make potloads of money but won't invest in decent customer support. At one point they even asked me to fax them something. Fax? Seriously?!

    I won't ever sell anything through them again. It's just one step away from, selling mostly fake knockoffs. Hateful.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      But from a customer perspective that's exactly why i like them.

      I buy from eBay cos i know if something goes wrong they'll take my side.

      (Sorry about the phone.....)

      1. Qumefox

        I've also been burned more than a few times selling on ebay by crappy buyers. To the point it's just not worth doing anymore. Sure buyers love ebay's very anti-seller policies, however unless you're blind you've probably noticed a trend of ebay turning to just another marketplace filled with people flogging cheap chinese goods by the thousands. Because the sellers doing this can just absorb the cost of the bad buyers using said policies just to scam sellers out of their items. The kind of sellers ebay had a decade ago are a quickly dying breed, since when you inevitably get a bad buyer screwing you over with false disputes, chargebacks, etc, there's literally nothing you can do about it. And just to pour salt on the wound, you'll still get charged the listing and sale fees too on top of it.

  19. Mike Moyle

    One bit of clarification

    According to the Boston-area NPR station where I heard this report, the porn was supposedly sent to the targets by name, but to the "wrong" address, so that it would be received by the neighbors instead.

  20. StargateSg7

    Time to STACK the state-level and Federal charges! Felony Communications over a State Line, Conspiracy, Uttering Threats, Mail Fraud over State Lines, etc etc.

    In total, based upon what I am seeing here, there's enough stackable charges to see UP TO 50 years contiguous sentences for EACH of the charged AT BOTH THE STATE and FEDERAL LEVELS --- The judge is gonna BE NASTY ON THIS ONE --- The over the Mail/Over State Lines issues TEND to get you the MOST long-term sentences. And in since some are FEDERAL, there is NO PAROLE! You serve whatever gets handed down IN ITS ENTIRETY!

    Based on the cases I have been privy to previously, it will be most likely multiple 3 and 5 year sentences tacked on consecutively for a probable tally of 20 to 30 year prison sentences in a medium-security slammer and THOSE are actually the worst places to do your time cuz the gang-bangers who need to "PUT IN WORK" and "CALL IN THEIR PLAYS" will be itching to service the whims of the local prison "SHOT CALLERS". Welcome to ButtaRape Prison USA 2020 and GetShankedAndSliced USA 2020 for all these NEW male prisoners!

    And for the women, I can personally tell you that the women's prison IS DEFINITELY NOT LIKE what shown on "Orange is the New Black" TV show --- They actually had decent beds and the prisoners and jail sites were clean on the show ----- IN the REAL WORLD of an American Women's Prison, it looks like shite, it smells like shite, the beds truly are thin and shite, the food is shite and your fellow prisoners look, smell and act like shite --- for the women prisoners, I hope you're big and skanky, cuz if not, you is lickin' some prison beeyotches wussy for the next 25 years!

    P.S. The guards tend to look away as you get POUNDED INTO THE GROUND, YOUR WAZOO GETS RIPPED-UP BY OR YA GET SLICED/SHANKED by the Gang Bangers!

    Welcome to the REAL WORLD of The Utterly Brutal American Prison System --- I hope you're 6'+ and 250 lbs+ cuz if you ain't yo azz is grazz !!!


    Good luck -- You is gonna need it! (I know a HECK of a lot about the USA civil and criminal legal system!)


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