MANHATTAN (CN) – Federal prosecutors claim Paul Ceglia “engaged in a multibillion-dollar scheme to defraud Facebook Inc. and Mark Zuckerberg and to corrupt the judicial process.”
Ceglia sued Zuckerberg in 2010, claiming the Facebook founder, or co-founder, had promised him a half share in the business.
In a two-count indictment, the United States claims that Ceglia “doctored or otherwise fraudulently converted a legitimate contract that he had with Mark Zuckerberg, dated April 28, 2003 – in which Zuckerberg agreed to perform certain programming work for Ceglia wholly unrelated to the Facebook website, in exchange for an agreed upon fee – to falsely make it appear as though he had entered into an agreement with Zuckerberg in which Zuckerberg agreed to provide Ceglia with at least a 50 percent interest in Facebook.”
Ceglia’s June 30, 2010 lawsuit against Zuckerberg was part of this fraud, the government says.
It also claims that Ceglia “manufactured evidence, including purported emails with Mark Zuckerberg, to support his false and fraudulent lawsuit and also destroyed evidence that was inconsistent with that lawsuit’s false claims.”
Ceglia is charged with mail fraud and wire fraud.