Remember Paul Ceglia, the guy suing Mark Zuckerberg for half of Facebook? Well, the shady wood pellet salesman's been hard on his luck ever since June when his law firm DLA Piper stopped representing him and pretty much everyone stopped taking his suit seriously because of his criminal record. Making matters worse for him, Tim Graham at The Buffalo News has written an extensive profile of Ceglia based on more than two dozen interviews from those who knew him in his small town of Wellsville, New York, a community of 5,000. Published to the web this morning, it's a splendid small town tale of deceit and moral reckoning (that deserves to be read in full). But here are the choice quotes from the Wellsville residents who knew him:
The Main Street merchant "When you shake Paul Ceglia's hand, you better count your fingers afterward."
The high school classmate "The whole time I've ever known him, he was into conning people," said Ira Warboys. "Any way he could make easy money, that's what he did for a living. He can talk a real good story, but in the long run, he's nothing but a joke."
The local waitress "Everybody wants to make a quick buck,"said Julie Hadsell. "That, to me, sounds like the kind of guy he is."
The bitter rival "He's just a shyster," said Greg Conklin, a man who sued Ceglia over a piece of farmland that Ceglia didn't own (and Conklin had though he purchased). "I'd really like to see a guy like that do a few years. I hope he gets painted for what he is in a court of law. His character should discredit any claims against anything he says he's earned. He's a lowlife."
The high school tart "He was not popular, not very well-known. I don't think people even know him well now," said Erica Sale Ferlazzo, who was voted "most opinionated" and "class gossip" in high school. "I was kind of friendly with him. All I remember is he wanted to go out with me and my parents wouldn't let me. They were not fans.... I liked him because he was different. He really was mysterious. He had a little bit of a bad-boy image, but he wasn't. He was always nice to me."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.