Federal prosecutors have bagged their biggest target yet in PigGate, a two-year-old case that charged seven former EBay employees with carrying out a campaign of harassment against a pair of bloggers.

James Baugh, 47, EBay’s former senior director of safety & security, has pled guilty to several felony counts, including ones related to stalking, cyberstalking, witness tampering and destruction of evidence. Baugh is scheduled September 29 for sentencing on the charges, some of which could land him 20 years in prison.

Five of Baugh’s former underlings at EBay have already pled guilty to lighter charges, with one, Philip Cooke, a former cop and EBay security manager, sentenced in July 2021 to 18 months in prison. The other four await sentencing.

The seventh defendant, David Harville, EBay’s former director of global resiliency, faces similar charges to Baugh, but he’s pled innocent and awaits trial, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts.

The case relates to the harassment between August of 2019 and August 2020 of Ina and David Steiner, a Massachusetts couple who publish ECommerceBytes, a blog read by sellers on EBay. Critical posts by Ina Steiner caught the eye of former EBay CEO Devin Wenig, who urged his PR chief, Steve Wymer, to “take her down,” according to court documents.

There followed a multi-pronged campaign involving threats of violence and parcels containing live insects, an embalmed pig’s fetus, a bloody Halloween pig mask and more. We’ve reported on it here and here.

No criminal charges have been filed against EBay, Wenig or Wymer, although the Steiners are pressing a civil suit that aims for higher-level atonement.

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