EntertainmenteBay slapped with a hefty fine over employees' shocking harassment campaign against bloggers

eBay slapped with a hefty fine over employees' shocking harassment campaign against bloggers

Ebay will pay a huge penalty for the actions of its employees.
Ebay will pay a huge penalty for the actions of its employees.
Images source: © Canva | canva

11:05 AM EST, January 13, 2024

Criticism is not always easily absorbed, exemplified by the practices exhibited by eBay employees, who harassed bloggers for an extended period. Their unsavory actions were triggered by standalone blogging activities by Ina and David Steiner from Massachusetts, where they boldly expressed their negative opinions about eBay's activities.

Packages of cockroaches, funeral wreaths, and bloody masks

Six eBay employees, headed by then eBay Director of Security Jim Baugh, subjected the Steiners to harassment throughout August and September. The bloggers received unsettling packages containing live cockroaches, a funeral wreath, a bloody pig mask, and a book about surviving the death of a partner, all as acts of retribution for their unfavorable opinions. The Steiners subsequently sued eBay after gathering ample evidence.

While the legal proceedings continue for five eBay employees, Jim Baugh was sentenced in September 2022. The former security director of eBay is now serving a 57-month prison term.

"The employees and contractors of the company who participated in this horrifying scheme have put the victims through an actual hellscape in an attempt to silence their critique and preserve the eBay brand," stated Acting State Attorney Joshua Levy in a press conference.

eBay CEO Jamie Iannone acknowledged the severity of the incident with an apology to the Steiner family: "We continue to apologize to the Steiner family for their distressful experience. In the aftermath of these incidents, the company welcomed new leaders, and eBay fortified its policies, procedures, control measures, and employee training."

Million-dollar fine for eBay

On January 11, the Massachusetts State Legal Office disclosed a settlement between eBay and the Steiners. The company was charged with six offenses, including impeding an investigation, witness tampering, and harassment. By the settlement, eBay must pay a three million dollar fine to Ina and David Steiner.

Source: FBI Boston

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