Paul Ceglia’s Facebook claim may finally face the music. Facebook claimed it found on Ceglia’s computers the original contract which had assigned work to its founder Mark Zuckerberg. The basis for his ownership of a stake in Facebook was allegedly a forgery. In a 2010 suit filed before a federal court in New York, Ceglia claimed that Zuckerberg signed a contract in 2003 that awarded Ceglia half of Facebook–along with an additional one percent for every day that his website was unfinished past Jan. 1, 2004.
Zuckerberg stated under oath that he did not sign the forged Work for Hire Document that Ceglia attached to his complaint, but had signed only an agreement to do website development work for a now-defunct company named StreetFax, and this agreement said nothing about Facebook or any other social networking website. Ceglia claimed Zuckerberg only signed one agreement, which was the Work for Hire document.
Facebook and Zuckerberg alleged that Ceglia had created the Work for Hire document by adding the text of the first page of the StreetFax Contract, and then adding it to the authentic second page of the contract, or facsimile, that had Zuckerberg’s signature.
In Ceglia’s counterargument, he asserted that Zuckerberg and his lawyers had created a forged document themselves and somehow planted it on his hard drive. Facebook and Zuckerberg also stated that Gerald LaPorte, a forensic chemist and document dating specialist, tested the ink from the handwritten notations purportedly made when the Work for Hire document was signed in 2003. He determined that the ink is less than two years old.
Ceglia’s lawyers could not be immediately reached for comment. Facebook has asked the case to be dismissed, alleging that the lawsuit is a fraud.