Facebook: we have proof Ceglia's contract is a forgery

Facebook: we have proof Ceglia's contract is a forgery

Summary: Facebook says it has found the original "authentic contract" between Zuckerberg and Ceglia, as well as proof that there are other "storage devices" that Ceglia is intentionally hiding from the company.

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Facebook says it has found the proof that shows Paul Ceglia, a man that claims he owns half of the company over a 2003 contract, is a fraud. Facebook's court filing in Buffalo, New York on Friday reads: "Embedded in the electronic data on Ceglia's computer ... Defendants have uncovered smoking-gun evidence that the purported contract at the heart of this case is a fabrication."

The company didn't state specifically what the evidence it found was, and neither Facebook nor Ceglia's lawyer, San Diego attorney Jeffrey Lake, commented on the court filing or the social network's findings. On Saturday, however, Wired noted that Facebook's lawyers asked the court to remove the proposed motion from its PACER electronic document system due to improper redaction, and instead substitute a redacted version. The court complied, and here are two of the relevant passages (the bolded texts are the parts Facebook redacted):

(1) Directing Ceglia to comply with the provision of the Order requiring him to produce several specific categories of electronic documents, including copies of the purported contract in the possession of Ceglia's lawyers or experts, and to produce the storage devices whose very existence he has concealed;

(6) Overruling Ceglia's abusive and improper designation of all 120 relevant electronic documents and data items found to date on his computers, CDs and floppy disks – including the authentic contract – as "confidential" documents that cannot be disclosed under the joint stipulated protective order.

After combing through a number of computers and hard drives, Facebook reportedly found the original "authentic contract" between Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Ceglia. Furthermore, Facebook says it has proof that there are other "storage devices" that Ceglia is intentionally hiding from the company, in violation of a court order.

Ceglia's lawyers are claiming the "authentic contract" is shielded from use in the suit because it is designated as "confidential" under the rules of an agreement between the two parties. Facebook is asking the federal judge overseeing the case in New York to overrule that designation. In the court filing, Facebook says it has found 120 documents that are relevant to the case, and it wants to be able to use all of them.

An oral argument in the case before Judge Leslie G. Foschio of the US District Court Western District of New York is scheduled for August 17, 2011. Next week the saga will thus continue.

Facebook acknowledges that Ceglia hired Zuckerberg to work for his StreetFax company in April 2003 while Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard. Ceglia first legally attacked Facebook in July 2010, saying the contract also included $1,000 initial funding for Facebook, and that he's entitled to more than half of the social networking giant.

Facebook says all the evidence required to prove Ceglia's contract is a forgery is in his computers and hard drives. If Facebook really has found a copy of the "authentic contract" that does not include any investment in the company, it may finally be able to close the Ceglia case.

Facebook insists Ceglia is a known con artist. Since he first filed suit, Ceglia has been dropped by at least four law firms.

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Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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9 comments
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  • Translation: We don't have anything but lest make it look like it

    I don't see any "smoking gun" here. All I read is Facebook whinnying for access to more data because they didn't find anything on what they got.

    If the document is so fake, how come Facebook hasn't come up with a copy of the email and document created by Zuckerberg? After all, the communication and contract was done by the two parties. Why is one party forced to give access to their hard drive data (don't see anything limiting to just email and/or relevant docs) and the other is free to make unsustainable claims?

    The guy has a contract and so far, there isn't a single proof that it is a forgery. I think Mr Dushbag just got conned by his own stupidity.
    wackoae
    • RE: Facebook: we have proof Ceglia's contract is a forgery

      @wackoae Did you actually read any of the article? Mainly these two paragraphs:<br><br>"After combing through a number of computers and hard drives, Facebook reportedly found the original authentic contract between Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Ceglia. Furthermore, Facebook says it has proof that there are other storage devices that Ceglia is intentionally hiding from the company, in violation of a court order.<br><br>Ceglias lawyers are claiming the authentic contract is shielded from use in the suit because it is designated as confidential under the rules of an agreement between the two parties. Facebook is asking the federal judge overseeing the case in New York to overrule that designation. In the court filing, Facebook says it has found 120 documents that are relevant to the case, and it wants to be able to use all of them."<br><br>They are pretty much saying that the 120 documents and data items they have, including the authentic contract, cannot be used because Ceglia's lawyers said both parties designated them as confidential. That is why Facebook are asking for the court to overrule that designation so they can use them in the case to prove the contract Ceglia says is the real one is in fact fake. They want Ceglia to disclose everything he has because if they find he has the actual contract (providing the other one is a fake) then it shows he purposefully falsified the contract. <br><br>Read the whole thing before you post a comment next time. Then at least you won't look like so much of an imbecile. FYI, you also misspelled D0uchebag, unless it was just an attempt to circumvent the word filter.
      SpiderTech
      • Sure they did .... that is why they want access to more data

        @SpiderTech You must be so gullible that can't comprehend simple logic. When you find a "smoking gun" you stop looking for it. You don't whine about some missing access to alleged hidden data.

        The BS about not being able to use the "smoking gun" in the suit, is just that, BS. Or are you dumb enough to believe that something found during discovery can't be use in the case?
        wackoae
      • I am in agreement with SpiderTech

        @SpiderTech <br>The fact that a known con-artsist like Ceglia claims he has a contract with Zuckerberg that he will not produce would point to a fact that the contract he claims he has never existed.<br><br>Logic would indicate that everything he puts foward is fake.

        Add to that the fact that four law firms dropped him, the assumption would be that they do not agree what he has is of any importance. Why would they give up the chance of a big payout (via their fees) from a settlement should they winas Facebook is worth over 80 billion at the momment.

        :|
        Tim Cook
    • What Facebook is asking for is germaine to their legal theory

      @wackoae What Facebook is asking for is germaine to their legal theory - that Ceglia, as a man with a known history at law of felony fraud may have conjured up this entire thing out of redaction of the StreetFax service contract.<br><br>It is appropriate and right for them to ask for the StreetFax contracts in as original a form as they can find them, in order to determine forensically if in fact their theory is borne up by all the available data.
      Mac_PC_FenceSitter
  • RE: Facebook: we have proof Ceglia's contract is a forgery

    Who cares?

    I get no money out of it. It won't change Facebook's course (the "myspace" of it's day). And I'm not *so* petty that I wish ill of Zuckerberg, even though I don't like his company's policies, nor his public persona (as portrayed in the media - I don't know him personally, after all). My solution to this is to just not use their product(s) (although I have tested it/them extensively)

    Really, the mentality of the mob...

    No wonder the US is no longer AAA.
    unrealblue
    • veryy good

      @unrealblue
      thanks your messaages..
      <div style="display:none;"> <a href="http://www.kelebek.gen.tr/" title="kelebek">kelebek</a> </div>
      keyness
  • RE: Facebook: we have proof Ceglia's contract is a forgery

    I have proof that I donated $500 dollars to help finance facebook back then also. I wont show the document because people will think I'm lying. I should get billions for this and will find the same lawyer to BS my way like this schmuck and those two privileged bratty twins from New York
    RIAAsucks
  • FACEBOOK IS THE FORGER

    The establishment has to insure that facebook can?t get shut down in a revolution ANYWHERE in the world because it has become i vital weapon in population control. This is one of the most sophisticated attempts to use new technology to solve the age old problem of ruling class domination that has being unable to achieve its goals non-violently till now !.
    People like Cegia and Assange are like the modern day Che Guevara, they have had war declared on them and now they have declared war back but unlike Guevera this time its technological.. This digital evidence they have suddenly come up with is all just too perfect to be true, just like Straus khan case, power takes care of power and we are all just meant to swallow it with a pinch of salt,
    how convenient it is that when the Straus khan rape victim suddenly has such inconsistencies in her story the justice system will drop the case ? would they do that to a regular guy? And the same with Ceglia, suddenly Mark Zuckerberg has a digital image of a contract and we are all supposed to all call Ceglia a lier and believe a known forger and a known self describing hacker, that is Zuckerberg
    GetYourFactsStraight89