This was not something that was disclosed or discussed as Airbnb went public last December.
The company apparently has what’s called a “black box” team of highly-trained individuals to handle whatever crisis pops up for the short-term rental company.
And believe me, they have major problems that routinely occur including rapes, murders and numerous assaults.
One member of the team was Nick Shapiro, a former national Security Council adviser to Barack Obama and also the deputy chief of staff at the CIA. In all, there are roughly 100 agents spread out around the country who go where the issues pop up and do and spend whatever it takes to clean up the mess and keep it from becoming front page news.
The group allegedly pays out an estimated $50 million each year doing this, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, and they are authorized to literally spend whatever it takes to accomplish their goal.
One incident according to Bloomberg involved a rape victim being paid $7 million in exchange for agreeing not to imply responsibility or liability on Airbnb. The rapist was a career criminal who used a duplicate key to get into a property in NYC and attack the victim at knifepoint.
It’s unbelievable what other things this secret group had to do. In one extreme case, they had to deal with the aftermath of a murder and help with the hosts who found dismembered human remains inside their home. In other instances they’ve had to hire contractors to fix bullet holes in walls.
I don’t know what’s more incredible: that Airbnb has this many sinister acts that occur in their rentals or that the secret Black Box team exists.
Given the amount of visits there are at Airbnb properties, we probably shouldn’t be shocked by either fact.