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Seventh eBay Executive Pleaded Guilty in May to Role in Cyberstalking Campaign

Seventh eBay Executive Pleaded Guilty to Role in Cyberstalking Campaign

The following is a press release issued by the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts dated May 13 and published to its website on June 9, 2022 regarding the May 12th guilty plea of eBay security executive David Harville:

Former eBay Executive Pleads Guilty to Role in Cyberstalking Campaign
BOSTON – The former Director of Global Resiliency for eBay, Inc. pleaded guilty yesterday in connection with his role in a cyberstalking campaign targeting the editor and publisher of a newsletter that eBay executives viewed as critical of the company.

David Harville, 50, of Las Vegas, Nev., 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 and two counts of stalking through facilities of interstate commerce. U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for Oct. 6, 2022.

In June 2020, Harville was arrested and charged along with James Baugh, eBay’s former Senior Director of Safety & Security, who pleaded guilty on April 25, 2022. Co-conspirators and former eBay employees Philip Cooke, Brian Gilbert, Stephanie Popp, Veronica Zea and Stephanie Stockwell previously pleaded guilty. Cooke was sentenced in July 2021 to 18 months in prison. Gilbert, Popp, Zea and Stockwell are awaiting sentencing.

Between approximately Aug. 5, 2019 and Sept. 6, 2019, Harville and his co-conspirators at eBay agreed to engage in a harassment campaign targeting a husband and wife in Natick, Mass. 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 tone and content of comments posted beneath the newsletter’s articles. The harassment campaign arose from communications between those executives and Baugh, who was eBay’s senior security employee.

Harville and his co-conspirators executed a three-part 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; 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 deliveries ordered to the victims’ home included a book on surviving the death of a spouse, a bloody pig mask, a fetal pig, a funeral wreath and live insects. The harassment also featured Craigslist posts inviting the public for sexual encounters at the victims’ home.

The threatening Twitter messages were written as if they had been sent by eBay sellers who were unhappy with the victims’ coverage in the newsletter. Some of these messages posted the victims’ address and threatened to visit them at their home.

On Aug. 15, 2019, Harville and co-conspirators traveled from California to Natick to surveil the victims and to install a GPS tracking device on the victims’ car. The victims spotted the surveillance team and contacted local police. Harville also purchased tools intending to break into the victims’ garage and lied to an eBay investigator who was responding to the Natick Police’s request for assistance. After learning of the police’s investigation, Harville turned in his company-issued cell phone from which evidence related to the cyberstalking campaign had been deleted.

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. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Natick Chief of Police James G. Hicks made the announcement. eBay provided valuable assistance and cooperation with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth B. Kosto, Deputy Chief of Rollins’ Securities, Financial and Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

SOURCE: US Department of Justice Press Release
Note: Also see, “Ex eBay Exec Who Sells Tactical Weapons Online Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking” (EcommerceBytes Newsflash, 5/12/2022)

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

8 thoughts on “Seventh eBay Executive Pleaded Guilty in May to Role in Cyberstalking Campaign”

  1. If Ina and David Steiner don’t receive at least 20 Million Dollars, there’s no justice.
    As far as I’m aware, this is the most egregious corporate act against a private party since love canal.

  2. Amen. But the suit against eBay should bring them well over 20 million. If you can imagine being the victim of a harassment campaign – read the list of things sent to their address and the steps on Twitter and Craigslist – I feel they should be awarded much, much more.

    This intimiidation is what eBay does all the time against those who they don’t like – whether it be those who publish an honest and truthful newletter or not.

  3. There was a time when California brains and business was respected throughout the world. We need Perrier O. back at eBay! He ran a honest business on eBay. eBays policies under the current mangement team is on the road to destruction. Its NOT just the economy stupid, its also the God awful treat to sellers on eBay that has thousands of Pro sellers, closing their accounts. if you own stock in eBay, get out now!

  4. I’m sad to say that it doesn’t surprise me, not even slightly, that eBay is rotten to its very core. I’ve pretty much stopped selling on eBay, But, nevertheless, I do still feel badly for the small-time sellers who remain there – working much harder today for far less than before.

    eBay kneels at the altar of big-time Chinese sellers of low quality junk. It’s a crying shame for both the small-time sellers and customers who are looking for good deals on good products.

    I joined eBay back in ’99. Seems like 23 light years ago.

  5. the most egregious act in modern tech American history and I hope the Steiners end up owning eBay

  6. yea….abouit 99 it was good…..now it is “bottom feeder” territory for days……

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