Paul Ceglia's Quest to Own Half of Facebook Ends in an Arrest for Fraud

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Oh how the tables have turned: The feds have arrested Paul Ceglia, the man who sued Facebook for 50 percent stake in the social network, charging him with attempting to defraud Mark Zuckerberg. Ceglia's assertion that Zuck had promised him half of his company lost total credibility about a year ago when the social network presented the original contract signed by him and Zuckerberg and it had no mention of Facebook. "This smoking-gun evidence confirms what defendants have said all along: the purported contract attached to the complaint is an outright fabrication," Facebook said in the filling. But that didn't stop Ceglia, who continued to push the suit, lawyering up with what Business Insider's Henry Blodget called a "boatload of new evidence."

Not only did that boatload not do it, but it ended up hurting him, as now the Feds have charged Ceglia with falsifying records and destroying evidence. Prosecutors have now accused Ceglia of making up that contract after they found margin, spacing, and font inconsistencies between the two documents. Ceglia is also accused of fabricating email exchanges (part of that "boatload of new evidence"). "Ceglia's alleged conduct not only constitutes a massive fraud attempt, but also an attempted corruption of our legal system through the manufacture of false evidence. That is always intolerable. Dressing up a fraud as a lawsuit does not immunize you from prosecution," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement, via CBS News's Daniel Carty

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