Paul Ceglia has filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York’s Allegany County on June 30. Ceglia claims that he signed a contract in 2003 with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He believes he is owed ownership and monetary damages.
Ceglia says he signed a contract with Zuckerberg on April 28, 2003 to develop and design a website for $1,000 plus a 50% stake in the website. He said he would also receive 1% in the business every day after January 1, 2004 until the website was completed.
A contract copy seen by The Wall Street Journal has the following statement: “for the purchase and design of a suitable website for the project Seller [Mr. Zuckerberg] has already initiated that is designed to offer the students of Harvard university [sic] access to a wesite [sic] similar to a live functioning yearbook with the working title of ‘The Face Book.'”
The date of this contract clashes with previous information about how Facebook was started. Mark Zuckerberg started a website called Facemash in October/November 2003 when he was attending Harvard. But he did not register the domain name thefacebook.com until January of 2004. Facebook is asking for this case to be transferred to federal court.
Paul Ceglia is in legal trouble himself too. New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo is suing Ceglia for defrauding customers. Ceglia runs a wood-pellet fuel company and the state claims that he took in over $200,000 from consumers, but failed to deliver any refunds or products.
Ceglia v. Facebook Motion for Dissolution