6 Former eBay Employees Face Cyberstalking Charges for Sending Journalists Live Bugs, Pig Mask: Feds

The couple had written critical newsletter articles about the e-commerce giant.

Six former eBay employees have been charged with cyberstalking a journalist couple by sending them a series of bizarre deliveries, including live insects, according to federal prosecutors. Ina and David Steiner published an online e-commerce newsletter featuring commentary that was critical of the e-commerce giant. They were then sent a box of live cockroaches and spiders, a book about surviving the loss of a spouse and a Halloween pig mask, prosecutors said.

The scheme was allegedly inspired by the 1980s teen movie "Johnny Be Good," in which two kids harass their football coach with off-the-wall deliveries.

Prosecutors said the former eBay employees planned what they called a "white knight strategy," in which they sent the macabre deliveries and threatening messages anonymously, NBC News reported. Then, they reportedly contacted the couple as the official eBay team, saying they noticed the harassment and offered to help. 

The six employees were fired and have been charged with cyberstalking.

In a statement, eBay said it "does not tolerate this kind of behavior. eBay apologizes to the affected individuals and is sorry that they were subjected to this."

Two unnamed higher-ranking executives are mentioned in the indictment but have not been charged.