Unless you're living under a rock, you know what eBay is, and it turns out the staff over at eBay aren't very fond of critics.
Unfortunately for them, the behavior of former staff at the company has landed them in $3 million dollars of hot water to resolve criminal charges against a couple who wrote a critical newsletter about the company in 2019.
"The company's conduct in 2019 was wrong and reprehensible," CEO Jamie Iannone stated, "From the moment eBay first learned of the 2019 events, eBay cooperated fully and extensively with the law enforcement authorities."
Former employees of eBay sent living spiders, cockroaches, and a fetal pig to the Massachusetts couple who had scolded the company in an online newsletter in 2019. The online auction giant was criminally charged with two counts of stalking through interstate travel, two counts of stalking through electronic communication services, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.
"The campaign included sending anonymous and disturbing deliveries to the victims' home, including a book on surviving the death of a spouse, a bloody pig mask, a fetal pig and a funeral wreath and live insects," prosecutors said.
In a statement released by eBay on its website this week, they will be "taking responsibility for the misconduct of its former employees."
"Today's settlement holds eBay criminally and financially responsible for emotionally, psychologically, and physically terrorizing the publishers of an online newsletter" - Jodie Cohen, special agent in charge of FBI's Boston Divison.
As part of the prosecution agreement, eBay has agreed to pay the full $3 million, which is the maximum fine allowed by law for the six felonies, according to prosecutors. The online giant must also retain an independent corporate compliance monitor for the next three years and make changes to its compliance program, according to federal authorities.
As part of the agreement reached with the federal government, eBay admitted that from August 5 to August 23, 2019, eBay's former senior director of safety and security and six other members of staff targeted the victims. This campaign was meant to silence or change the contents of the couple's newsletter reporting and included sending disturbing deliveries to the victims, such as a book on surviving the death of a spouse, a bloody pig mask, a fetal pig, a funeral wreath, and live insects.
The company has stated they are committed to making things right with the couple targeted by this horrific display of harassment.