We have extensively covered the Paul Ceglia case. In 2010, Paul Ceglia filed a lawsuit against Facebook and claimed 84% of the company. In October 2012, Paul Ceglia was arrested by the U.S. Postal Inspectors on charges of fraud. Allegedly Mr. Ceglia forged an additional page of a contract between himself and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, which gave himself 50% ownership in Thefacebook.com. Paul Ceglia was arrested for forging evidence.
Ceglia, 39, was taken into custody from his home in Wellsville, New York and appeared before a federal judge in Buffalo later that day. Mr. Ceglia claimed that Zuckerberg signed a contract in April 2003.
Authorities are saying that a two-page contract and e-mails between him and Zuckerberg have been tampered with after a forensic examination. Mr. Ceglia falsified the first page of the contract and attached it to a second page containing both parties’ signatures. The contract was dated April 28, 2003. This predates when Mr. Zuckerberg and other Facebook founders said that they conceived the idea for the website. The authorities also said that e-mails between the two has been fabricated.
“Ceglia’s alleged conduct not only constitutes a massive fraud attempt, but also an attempted corruption of our legal system through the manufacture of false evidence. That is always intolerable. Dressing up a fraud as a lawsuit does not immunize you from prosecution,” stated U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (of the Southern District of New York).
Mr. Ceglia had a criminal past related to his wood chip business. Ceglia’s went through seven different lawyers since the lawsuit was filed and the 8th one, lawyer Dean Boland, just jumped the sinking ship. When Mr. Ceglia’s hard drive was scanned, it showed that he falsified the records that backed up his claims and Harvard’s e-mail servers did not show any evidence that the contract ever existed or was sent.
Mr. Ceglia was charged with 1 count of wire fraud and 1 charge of mail fraud. Each carry up to a 20-year prison sentence. Mr. Boland submitted a motion for withdrawal of representation of Mr. Ceglia.
Other people that have filed a lawsuit against Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg include Tyler Winklevoss, Cameron Winklevoss, Divya Narendra, Krystal’s NFL Shoppe and Pradeep Manukonda.