Since 2010, Mark Zuckerberg has been fighting allegations that he owes half of Facebook's worth to a guy named Paul Ceglia. Ceglia claims that the contract he presented police officers and judges is in fact real. The man is being prosecuted by New York federal attorneys on allegations that the contract is forged. And in November, Ceglia will be defending himself as the case will be making its way to trial.
A federal judge actually called the contract a "fabrication" and this ruling has been the firepower needed for the prosecution to go after this alleged scammer. Ceglia has countered saying that Zuckerberg has actually framed and hacked him, and that the contract is indeed the real deal.
The prosecution had this to say in a court filing this week.
The Government believes that Ceglia's theory, as he has argued in the Civil Case-with no basis for this argument-is that Zuckerberg somehow 'hacked' in to Ceglia's computer to plant a copy of what the Government alleges is the legitimate contract. At best, Ceglia will only be able to present this baseless argument through cross examination of Zuckerberg.
Here's where Ceglia takes it a step further. He is insisting that the courts force Zuckerberg to surrender all phones, hard drives, email accounts and computers that were used back in 2003 and 2004, as he says they will have the evidence needed to prove that he's not crazy. Prosecuters disagree and say that hsi is a "fishing expedition" and have requested the courts to reject the notion.
The contract in question, Ceglia says, was created in 2003 when young Harvard Zuckerberg went to work for Ceglia's online company StreetFax. He claims that the two drew up a Work for Hire agreement but a forensics report states that while examiners found a Work for Hire contract on Ceglia's computer, there is no mention of Facebook in it at all. The feds say that Ceglia simply removed the first page of a 2003 contract and made a new one with mentions of Facebook in it. There's spacing and margin errors, and other anomalies that would suggest that it wasn't created at the same time. What's more is that the first page also mentions StreetFax LLC, but Ceglia has said that the company wasn't incorporated until four months after the second page of the contract was allegedly signed by Zuckerberg.
All of this is definitely crazy and we'll have to follow what happens to this guy. If he does happen to win, which is probably a long shot, he would be exonerated of all charges and could go after the Facebook CEO for half of the $170 billion market cap that is the social network giant.