eBay staff ‘sent spiders to terrorise couple who published critical newsletter’

Six former eBay employees have been charged with waging an extensive campaign to terrorise and intimidate the editor and publisher of an online newsletter with threats and disturbing deliveries to their home, including live spiders and cockroaches, US authorities said. Executives were upset about the newsletter’s coverage, so the employees set out to ruin the lives of the couple who ran the website, sending a funeral wreath, bloody pig face Halloween mask and other alarming items to their home, authorities said. Court documents detail how two members of the company’s executive leadership team orchestrated a plot to go after the couple after the newsletter published an article in August 2019 about a lawsuit filed by eBay accusing Amazon of poaching its sellers. In addition to the disturbing deliveries, the employees set up fake social media accounts to send threatening messages to the couple, authorities said. “They hoped this ‘white knight strategy’ would create some goodwill toward the company, result in more favourable articles and please eBay’s management,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI office in Boston. An internal investigation was launched after eBay was notified by law enforcement in August of “suspicious actions by its security personnel”, company officials wrote in a prepared statement.