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eBay Execs Charged After Sending Roaches And Spiders To Harass Couple Who Criticized Them In Newsletter

eBay Execs Charged After Sending Roaches And Spiders To Harass Couple Who Criticized Them In Newsletter
Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

In a story so outlandish that it could only happen in 2020, six former eBay employees are being charged with charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses after they waged an extensive campaign of threats and disturbing deliveries against the editor and publisher of an online newsletter because they were unhappy with the newsletter's coverage of eBay.

James Baugh eBay's former senior director of safety & security, David Harville, eBay's former director of global resiliency, and four other executive employees (Stephanie Popp, Brian Gilbert, Stephanie Stockwell, and Veronica Zea,) sent several disturbing things including a funeral wreath, a bloody pig mask, and live spiders and cockroaches to the Natick, MA man and his wife.

Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said to WBZ Boston:

"This was a determined, systematic effort by senior employees of a major company to destroy the lives of a couple in Natick all because they published content that company executives didn't like."
"For a while they succeeded, psychologically devastating these victims for weeks as they desperately tried to figure out what was going on and stop it."

6 eBay Executives And Employees Charged With Sending Threats, Bloody Pig Mask To Natick

The executives were reportedly inspired by the film Johnny Be Good, where colleges attempt to lure in a rising high school football star by bribing him with money, goods and even their coach's wife.

According to the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, the executives also sent threatening anonymous messages to the couple, including "allegedly [sending] private Twitter messages and public tweets criticizing the newsletter's content and threatening to visit the victims in Natick."

The company's strategy was to harass the couple, pretend to notice the harassment later and then offer to step in and help to try and influence how the couple wrote about eBay in their online newsletter.

An internal investigation by eBay uncovered the actions, most of which had been perpetrated within the security team, and fired those employees in September.

Among their other plans were to "break into the couple's garage to install a GPS device on their car."

The couple in question remain anonymous, as the investigation is still ongoing.

The Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office did not confirm nor deny that the prosecutors were looking into pressing further charges.