Just as Mark Zuckerberg won a major legal victory against Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss on Monday, the Facebook founder and CEO faces a new ownership threat from a New York man claiming a 50 percent stake in Zuckerberg's social networking site. When the suit was first introduced last summer, it was widely dismissed in tech circles. Paul Ceglia claimed he signed an agreement with Mark Zuckerberg in 2003 that, in exchange for a small investment in Zuckerberg's site "the face book," entitled him to 50 percent of the now-wildly popular social network.
The suit raised doubts for a number of reasons. First, Ceglia waited seven years to file it. Second, Ceglia is a convicted felon charged with fraud in connection with a wood-pellet company and possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms in 1997. Third, it was just kind of preposterous to believe that, at this stage in the game, Zuckerberg could lose control of social networking behemoth now valued at around $55 billion. And fourth, Facebook flatly denied Ceglia's story. The company repeated that claim today in a letter to Bloomberg saying, “This is a fraudulent lawsuit brought by a convicted felon, and we look forward to defending it in court.”