Facebook sues Paul Ceglia’s lawyers
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