A former eBay executive pleaded guilty on Thursday to participating in a scheme to terrorize the creators of an online newsletter that included the delivery of live spiders and other disturbing items to their home.
David Harville, eBay’s former director of global resiliency, is the final onetime eBay employee charged in the case to plead guilty. Six others have admitted to their roles in the harassment campaign targeting a Massachusetts couple who publish the newsletter EcommerceBytes, which eBay executives viewed as critical of the company.
The scheme included sending items like a box of live cockroaches, a funeral wreath and books about surviving the loss of a spouse to the couple’s home with the hopes of getting them to stop publishing negative articles about the company, prosecutors say. eBay employees also set up fake social media accounts to send threatening messages to the couple and posted the couple’s home address online.
Harville and others were charged in June 2020 over the plot, which authorities say was orchestrated by members of eBay’s executive leadership team after the newsletter published an article about a lawsuit filed by eBay accusing Amazon of poaching its sellers, authorities said.