Mark Zuckerberg appears sick and tired of Paul Ceglia's attempts to claim his 50 percent stake in Facebook, and his latest official legal statement makes that clear. Again. A statement filed Thursday on Zuckerberg's behalf with a U.S. District Court in Buffalo, New York, claims that Ceglia made up the whole story and forged documents to back up his lies. "Zuckerberg and Ceglia never discussed Facebook and they never signed a contract concerning Facebook," it reads. "The contract is a cut-and-paste job, the emails are complete fabrications, and this entire lawsuit is a fraud."
This is in fact toned down a bit from the legal language Facebook threw at Ceglia last week, when they called the wood-pellet salesman's lawsuit against Zuckerberg "a brazen and outrageous fraud on the Court." The official rebuttal to Ceglia's suit filed last Thursday really is quite funny so we'll blockquote it again--previous Wire analysis of what it all means here.
Plaintiff is an inveterate scam artist whose misconduct extends across decades and borders. His latest and most far-reaching fraud is the amended complaint filed in this action, which is based upon a doctored contract and fabricated evidence. Plaintiff alleges that he recently ‘discovered’ a purported contract that now supposedly entitles him to ownership of 50 percent of Zuckerberg’s interest in Facebook. The purported contract was signed in 2003, yet plaintiff waited until 2010 to file this action — a seven-year delay during which plaintiff remained utterly silent while Facebook grew into one of the world’s best-known companies. Plaintiff has now come out of the woodwork seeking billions in damages.
Zuckerberg added that forensic experts analyzed his Harvard email account and found no trace of the email that Ceglia said entitles him to half of Facebook. At the company's most recent valuation that stake would be worth $35 billion.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.