Tags: Facebook | Contract | Paul | Ceglia

Facebook Alleges Disputed Contract Likely Forged

By    |   Wednesday, 28 Jul 2010 08:11 AM

The contract upstate New York resident Paul Ceglia has produced to claim he’s entitled to a majority stake in Facebook may well be forged, according to Facebook officials.

Ceglia, who owns a wood pellet fuel company in Wellsville, N.Y., has sued Facebook, claiming a 2003 contract he signed with the company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg entitles him to an 84 percent stake in the company. Facebook has been valued at $25 billion.

"Mark has made it clear that Ceglia's claims are absurd, and we strongly suspect the contract is forged," Facebook said in a statement released to the media last week.

"However, we have not seen the original — no one has, including the court. Thus, we're focusing on the things that are not open to interpretation and are indisputable — Mark could not have given interest in a company that didn't exist or an idea he had not thought of yet. And, even if he could, the statute of limitations has expired."

The copy of the contract that Ceglia provided with his law suit stipulates that he would receive a 50 percent interest in Facebook as part of an agreement to develop the social networking website. Ceglia also was to pay Zuckerberg $1,000.

In addition, according to Ceglia’s copy of the contract, he could take another 1 percent ownership stake for each day after Jan. 1, 2004, until the website was completed. Ceglia claims that was 34 days, entitling him to a total stake of 84 percent.

Some experts say Ceglia’s claim is dubious, ABC News reports, given that Zuckerberg didn't register the domain name thefacebook.com until January 2004 and that he didn't develop predecessors to the site until the previous fall, according to published reports of Facebook’s founding.

Little progress has been made in the suit since it was filed two weeks ago. Lawyers for Zuckerberg and Ceglia have appeared in court just once.

Much of the problem stems from the fact that neither side appears to have seen the original contract, and Ceglia’s copy is difficult to read, Forbes reports.

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The contract upstate New York resident Paul Ceglia has produced to claim he s entitled to a majority stake in Facebook may well be forged, according to Facebook officials. Ceglia, who owns a wood pellet fuel company in Wellsville, N.Y., has sued Facebook, claiming a 2003...
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2010-11-28
Wednesday, 28 Jul 2010 08:11 AM
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