E-Mails Prove Zuck Stole 50 Percent of Facebook from Investor, Suit Claims

Posted: April 13, 2011 in US News

Ryan Singel
Wired
April 13, 2011

A businessman who claims Mark Zuckerberg scammed him out of a $2,000 controlling interest in Facebook has amended his federal lawsuit, in an attempt to cash in on a company now valued at $65 billion.

Paul Ceglia, a New York businessman with a sketchy past, says he owns half of Facebook after having paid Zuckerberg $2,000 to fund the site. In his new complaint, he alleges that Zuckerberg tried to weasel out of the contract by lying about how well the site was doing.

Ceglia is now offering up what he calls damning e-mails in pursuit of what he says is rightfully his, after agreements and understandings with a young Zuckerberg. Some might think it’s all a sour-grapes-grab in the fashion of a failed suit by the Winklevoss twins, who also crossed paths with Zuckerberg at Harvard in the earliest days, and whose legal attempt to prove they were wronged was snidely dismissed by a judge only Monday.

Indeed, one would be tempted to dismiss Ceglia’s suit as ridiculous — except that Zuckerberg did do work for him, Ceglia purportedly has e-mails from Zuckerberg confirming the signed contract, and Ceglia is now represented by DLA Piper — one of the nation’s most well-respected law firms.

Which is to say, this is either an elaborate con job or Ceglia has proof of the biggest corporate thievery since Bernie Madoff.

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