Facebook, Zuckerberg open fire on Ceglia: Emails forged by 'professional con artist'

Summary:Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the gloves off in its defense against Paul Ceglia, a man that argues he owns half of the company over a 2003 contract.

Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the gloves off in its defense against Paul Ceglia, a man that argues he owns half of the company over a 2003 contract.

The filing aims to expedite a discovery process that includes producing the original emails Zuckerberg allegedly signed, native digital copies of those documents and Ceglia's computers. Facebook and Zuckerberg say in their filing that Ceglia is conducting fraud.

Related: Facebook: Ceglia claims 'brazen and outrageous fraud'; Read the response

Paul Ceglia vs. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg: Here's the complaint and it's a good read

Zuckerberg also denied he signed any contract from Ceglia and sent emails. "The evidence Defendants have gathered to date corroborates Zuckerberg’s sworn statements and confirms that Ceglia’s documents are forgeries," said Zuckerberg and Facebook in a filing.

Among the key excerpts:

  1. In addition to being impossible as a matter of historical fact, the purported contract is an obvious cut-and-paste job. This is apparent from the face of the document. Among other things, the column widths and margins are inconsistent, which indicates that the document has been altered and reproduced. Many words and sentences simply make no sense, and the document is riddled with internal inconsistencies and contradictions strongly indicative of fraud. Tellingly, there are many discrepancies between page 1 (which purports to convey an interest in “The Face Book”) and page 2 (the page with Ceglia’s and Zuckerberg’s signatures, and which makes no mention of “The Face Book” or anything similar). Ceglia appears to have taken page 2 of the signed StreetFax contract and appended it to a doctored version of page 1, which Ceglia has edited by adding references to “The Face Book.”
  2. Defendants engaged digital forensic examiners to review all of Zuckerberg’s emails contained in the email account he used while a student at Harvard. That account contains emails from the 2003-2004 time period. The emails Ceglia quotes in his Amended Complaint do not exist in the account. They are complete fabrications.
  3. Ceglia is a professional con artist. A comprehensive background investigation conducted by the nationally renowned investigative firm Kroll Associates, Inc. established that Ceglia is a career criminal who has engaged in fraud, subterfuge and falsification of documents. From his 1997 felony conviction through his 2009 arrest for scamming New Yorkers, Ceglia has a long record of criminal and fraudulent behavior that spans decades.

It's a fun read:

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Topics: Legal, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Social Enterprise

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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