Paul Ceglia filed a lawsuit against Facebook in July 2010 claiming that he owned 84% of the social network. After almost two years of going back-and-forth in court, Ceglia has been ordered to pay Facebook’s lawyers another $16,851 bringing his total sanctions to $97,617.70. He was previously ordered to pay Facebook’s lawyers $75,766.70 and $5,000 to the court. Ceglia has two weeks to pay the sanctions or show U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio why he cannot pay by showing bank accounts, tax returns, and other financial documents. His failure to comply may also result in the lawsuit’s dismissal, which is what Facebook is hoping for.
This past March, Facebook released 200 e-mails from Harvard’s servers showing why the lawsuit from Ceglia was fraudulent. Four months ago Facebook uncovered at least 4 e-mail accounts belonging to Ceglia that Facebook claimed he concealed from the court. This was right after Foschio ordered Ceglia to pay the $75,766.70 fine in legal fees. The judge said that the charge was justified because Facebook had to hire forensic experts. However the judge denied Facebook’s request for an order that would prevent Ceglia from filing additional motions in the case until the fines were paid.
Ceglia claimed that he hired Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on a work-for-hire contract eight years ago. Facebook did acknowledge the Zuckerberg was hired to work on Ceglia’s project called StreetFax on April 28, 2003 while Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard. Ceglia said that the contract also included $1,000 in initial funding for Facebook and he said he was entitled to over half of Facebook. Forensic experts had determined that the ink on the document is less than two years old.