Six former eBay employees sent them packages with live cockroaches and beetles, funeral wreaths, and bloody pig masks after a blogger couple criticized the company. The New York Post writes about it with reference to the U.S. Justice Department.
Now they are accused of virtual prosecution of spouses from Massachusetts after a negative review on their blog about large companies engaged in Internet sales.
The harassment began in August 2019, according to the Ministry of Justice, after eBay executives saw material mentioning litigation involving the company and instructed employees to initiate harassment.
The virtual harassment campaign, in which the former Director of Security participated, consisted of three phases. On the first one, bloggers were supposed to receive “anonymous and disturbing home parcels”, such as a bloody Halloween mask of a pig, a funeral wreath, and a book on how to survive the death of a spouse.
In addition, former eBay employees ordered pornography under the couple’s name, but deliberately sent it to the neighbors’ homes.
In the second stage, they started sending out Twitter messages criticizing bloggers, and began threatening to meet the couple in person and give out their home address.
The third stage involved covert surveillance of the victims in their home. Former eBay employees planned to go to Boston with the intention of breaking into a garage and installing a GPS tracker on the car. However, bloggers spotted the surveillance and reported it to local police.
Representatives of the company itself said that after notifying the police of suspicious actions of their employees, all those involved in the incident were dismissed. The company has apologized for the actions of its employees. In an official announcement on June 15, eBay apologized to the spouses.
“eBay embraces the high standards of conduct and ethics of its employees and will continue to take appropriate measures to ensure compliance with these standards,” the company said.
Participants were threatened with up to five years in prison as a punishment, as well as a fine of up to $250,000.