Facebook dismissed as a “brazen and outrageous fraud” a lawsuit filed by a New York man who claims he owns at least 50% of the growing social network.
Paul Ceglia of Wellsville, New York, in a suit filed in June 2010, alleged that he signed an agreement with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in April 2003 to design a website named “The Face Book or “The Page Book.”
Lawyers of Ceglia have made copies of emails and an agreement supposedly signed by Zuckerberg, who was at that moment a student of Harvard University.
In a 23-page reply to the claims of Ceglia, Facebook condemned his suit as a “brazen and outrageous fraud on the court” based on a “doctored contract and fabricated evidence.”
They said, “The purported contract was signed in 2003, yet plaintiff waited until 2010 to file this action — a seven-year delay during which plaintiff remained utterly silent while Facebook grew into one of the world’s best-known companies. Plaintiff has now come out of the woodwork seeking billions in damages.”
They charged, “Plaintiff is an inveterate scam artist whose misconduct extends across decades and borders.”
In April 2003, Zuckerberg had met with Ceglia in the lobby of a Boston hotel, replying to an online job concerning a site named StreetFax.com which gave a photo database of traffic intersections for insurance adjusters.
Facebook said, “He entered into a written agreement with StreetFax pursuant to which he agreed to perform certain limited services solely in connection with the development of an inoperable and now defunct website known as StreetFax.com.”
Facebook said, “At no time did Zuckerberg enter into any agreement, written or otherwise, with plaintiff or anyone affiliated with plaintiff concerning Facebook or any similar social networking service or website.”
The origin of Facebook has been the subject of two recent books and a hit Hollywood movie, “The Social Network.”
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, two Harvard classmates, have been concerned in a long-running argument with Zuckerberg over Facebook, alleging he took their idea for the social network.
The twin brothers agreed to a $65 million settlement but have been hoping to have the case reconsidered. This month, the California court refused their offer and the brothers have said they are planning to appeal to the US Supreme Court.
In 2004, Facebook was launched and has turn into the most well known social network through out the world with over 500 million members. Net worth of Zuckerberg was currently estimated at $6.9 billion for Forbes magazine.
photo credit: collegestockpro.com