Facebook-Mark Zuckerberg-Paul Ceglia
Facebook sues Paul Ceglia’s lawyers
October 21, 2014  //  By:   //  Legal, US News  //  Comments are off

by Carol Thompson

Mark Zuckerman is striking back.

Yesterday, Facebook Inc. filed a lawsuit against DLA Piper LLP and three other law firms that previously represented Paul Ceglia, the businessman who was criminally charged with filing sham litigation seeking a 50 percent stake in the social media giant.

Ceglia is accused of forging a 2003 contract with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that supposedly entitled him to part ownership of the company.

Ceglia sued Zuckerberg and Facebook in 2010 in a federal court in Buffalo, N.Y., claiming that he and Zuckerberg had signed a contract while Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard University for Ceglia to invest $1,000 in a planned social networking website.

Last year, a judge in Buffalo recommended that Ceglia’s lawsuit be dismissed, finding that it was “highly probable and reasonably certain” that the contract was fabricated in order to pursue the lawsuit.

Prosecutors in New York then charged Ceglia in 2012, accusing him of forging documents as part of the Buffalo litigation.

Now Zuckerberg is claiming that Ceglia’s lawyers conspired to file and prosecute a fraudulent lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, claims that the lawyers representing Ceglia “knew or should have known” that his lawsuit was fraudulent and “based on an implausible story and obviously forged documents.”

Facebook is seeking unspecified damages along with reimbursement of its expenses racked up in defending itself against the lawsuit.

Image: Flickr/Scott Beale

About the Author :

Carol Thompson is a veteran investigative reporter residing in central New York. She spent 23 years with a local newspaper, The Valley News, before leaving for the Syracuse New Times, and now, VNN. Thompson has won dozens of first-place awards for investigative reporting and was the 2006 recipient of the Syracuse Press Club’s prestigious Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award. Thompson’s reporting has resulted in the arrest of public officials and has prompted policy changes. She uncovered two money laundering schemes that traveled the globe and resulted in the indictments of several developers.

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