Facebook says case is a fraud: 'Ink on 2003 contract is two years old'


By Noel Young | Correspondent

March 26, 2012 | 3 min read

Facebook today urged a judge to throw out a lawsuit by a New York wood pellet salesman claiming half founder Mark Zuckerberg's stake in the social network. Facebook lawyers called the claim a "fraud."

Paul Ceglia: claims half Facebook

Paul Ceglia sued Zuckerberg and Facebook in 2010 in a dispute over a 2003 contract, said to have been signed when while Zuckerberg was still at Harvard.

The social network is adamant that a "Work for Hire Document" Ceglia produced is a forgery - and that emails he supposedly exchanged with Zuckerberg were made up.

The presiding judge in Buffalo, New York , last year gave Facebook more time to gather evidence. At one point Ceglia went to Ireland for a period.

"The evidence is in. And it is devastating for Ceglia and his cohorts," Facebook's lawyers wrote in a motion to dismiss the case filed on Monday.

"Ceglia and his co-conspirators have compounded their wrongdoing by destroying and tampering with evidence, obstructing discovery, and defying court orders."

A report in the San Jose Mercury News said the Facebook legal team had found emails, dating back to Zuckerberg's days at Harvard University, to prove Ceglia's fraud.

They asked the judge to halt Ceglia's lawsuit, which they said was filed "in hopes of extorting a settlement through their fraudulent scheme."

Facebook attorney Orin Snyder said earlier that experts had found that ink on the supposed 2003 contract was less than two years old. He accused Ceglia of trying to artificially age the document.

Ceglia claimed he hired Zuckerberg for multiple projects , including traffic management, when he was a Harvard University freshman . One of those eventually became Facebook, Ceglia insisted

Facebook is on track for a valuation of up to $93.6 billion after its IPO .


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