THE MANHATTAN US Attorney is charging Paul Ceglia for falsely claiming that he owns half of the social networking company Facebook.
Ceglia has repeatedly claimed to own part of the firm, supposedly thanks to a deal he made with Mark Zuckerberg back in its very early days.
Late last week Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Randall Till, the inspector in charge of the New York office of the US Postal Inspection Service issued charges for Ceglia.
No one is mincing their words about the case, and the US Attorney accused Ceglia of being "blatant" in his scam.
"As alleged, by marching into federal court for a quick payday based on a blatant forgery, Paul Ceglia has bought himself another day in federal court for attempting a multi-billion dollar fraud against Facebook and its CEO," said Bharara
"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."
Facebook, which has always denied Ceglia's claims, is pleased. "We commend the United States Attorney for charging Ceglia with federal crimes in connection with his fraudulent lawsuit against Facebook," said Orin Snyder, partner at Gibson Dunn and attorney for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.
"Ceglia used the federal court system to perpetuate his fraud and will now be held accountable for his criminal scheme."
It is alleged that Ceglia replaced an actual page from a document with one that gave him a contractual right to 50 percent of Facebook. The allegations follow a search of his computer hard drive and documents. µ
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