Mark Zuckerberg did some freelance work for Paul Ceglia when he was attending Harvard University. Several years later Ceglia claimed he owned 50% of Facebook’s shares in Facebook and claimed to have the documentation to prove it. Now it turns out that Facebook has released a “treasure trove of evidence” in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit Ceglia filed in July 2010 claiming he owned 50% of the company.
In Ceglia’s testimony, Facebook’s forensic investigators found that his alleged e-mails to Zuckerberg had some questionable details. For example, he did not account for daylight savings times and he did not have the correct date for Facebook.com being launched.
Facebook released 200 e-mails in today’s filing that they found on Harvard’s e-mail servers. However they could not find anything that corroborates Ceglia’s claims to have invested $1,000 in Facebook early on. Facebook’s forensic experts had found original versions of Ceglia’s documents used to mock up as a fake “Work For Hire” contract with Zuckerberg on his own computer.
Forensic chemist Gerald LaPorte was hired to inspect Ceglia’s documents, which he claimed to have written in 2003. LaPorte determined that the ink was “still fresh” and less than 2 years old. This is what Facebook had to say about Ceglia’s character:
“Ceglia’s scheme is brazen and outrageous but in keeping with his character: Ceglia is a convicted felon – a career criminal and scam artist whose past crimes including stealing from senior citizens, forging government documents as part of a land swindle, and running a scheme to defraud local residents (many senior citizens) by tricking them into buying nonexistent wood pellets.”
Facebook discovered an authentic contract that was exchanged between Zuckerberg and Ceglia, but it concerned “limited work” that Zuckerberg performed for Ceglia’s bankrupt company StreetFax between 2003-2004. The contract said nothing about Facebook and nothing about the investment Ceglia claims to have made.