Fugitive fails to prove he loaned $1000.00 to Mark Zuckerberg for 50 % share in Facebook; Judge throws out the case
The United States appeals court yesterday dismissed the case against Facebook, where a fugitive had claimed that he owned 50 % of Facebook because he had loaned $1000.00 to Mark Zuckerberg.
Paul Ceglia, a wanted man, had filed suit against Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2010, claiming he was entitled to the 50 percent ownership stake in Facebook, the basis of a 2003 “Work for Hire” contract.
According to his lawyers, Zuckerberg had done programming work for Ceglia’s company, StreetFax.com. After a federal district court dismissed his ownership claim last year, Ceglia appealed that ruling to a circuit court in New York.
In the yesterday’s ruling, the appeals court judge called the Work for Hire document a forgery. The ruling also said that Ceglia’s arguments merit-less and stated that Ceglia has “repeatedly demonstrated total disregard for our judicial system.”
“The record contains no master electronic copy of the Work for Hire document, as might be expected if it were authentic, but rather, reflects multiple similar documents that appear to be test forgeries,” the ruling said.
The final nail in the case was hit when a original StreetFax contract signed between Ceglia and Zuckerberg was produced in the court. The Judge also found it against sense that Ceglia had not sued Facebook or Zuckerberg for seven years . The fact that the movie “The Social Network,” about another Facebook ownership dispute, also came out in 2010 may have been more than a coincidence, the court said.
When asked to comment on the court’s ruling, the Facebook spokeswoman stated that, “We are pleased that the truth has prevailed.”
Paul Ceglia has been missing since he jumped bail by cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet and US Marshals have put a bounty of $5000.00 on information about his whereabouts. He is absconding along with his wife, two children and dog and is believed to be in Ireland.
Joseph Alioto, an attorney for Ceglia, said he would seek a petition for a rehearing. He added that the Work for Hire document was authentic.