On Thursday, lawyers representing Facebook declared that they uncovered the ‘smoking gun’ in the ownership lawsuit brought by Paul Ceglia. The lawsuit claims that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg gave away half of the company to Ceglia in exchange for $1,000 of seed money within a 2003 contract. In addition, Ceglia also claims the contract awards him one percent of the company for each day Facebook wasn’t online after January 1, 2004. Lawyers for Facebook did acknowledge that Zuckerberg worked with Ceglia in 2003 on a Web project called “StreetFax”. Zuckerberg was hired to do coding work for the project.
Evidence presented by Ceglia suggests there was direct communication in the form of emails between the two parties. However, Zuckerberg contends that he never agreed to Ceglia’s contract claim. Recently ordered by a judge in Buffalo, New York, Ceglia was directed to allow Facebook to analyze electronic storage media owned by Ceglia including computers and hard drives. Facebook lawyers believe that they have discovered proof that Ceglia fabricated the contract as well as the other evidence in the case. An attorney for Ceglia was unable to comment on the recent discovery as the party is barred by a protective order on all evidence, however Ceglia did pass a lie detector test in June specific to the authenticity of the contract in question.
Ceglia has been burning through legal teams at of late and lost his fourth legal team in late July. In addition to being labeled a scam artist by Facebook lawyers in May of this year, Ceglia was also disparaged by his local hometown of Wellsville in the Buffalo News publication. Many of the town residents believe that he regularly cons people similar to the design of the Facebook claim. Ceglia’s troubled legal history includes a trespassing conviction, a felony drug conviction and a plethora of angry client affidavits from deals that went sour.