Facebook fraud suspect is missing, says lawyer

A man charged with fraud for claiming half-ownership of Facebook based on a phony contract and faked emails is missing, his lawyer has said.

Paul Ceglia, who twice lost bids to dismiss the charges, had been ordered to wear an electronic tracking device. Robert Fogg, his lawyer, said the ankle bracelet was found at Mr Ceglia’s home. “I don’t know where he is,” Mr Fogg said. “I haven’t got a clue.”

US marshals on Sunday found the electronic monitoring bracelet that Mr Ceglia was supposed to be wearing at his home, he said.

Mr Ceglia sued Facebook and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in 2010, claiming the two signed a contract in 2003 giving Mr Ceglia the right to half the company.

Facebook and Mr Zuckerberg said the document was a forged version of a contract Mr Zuckerberg had signed to do freelance website coding for Mr Ceglia. They said the genuine contract had nothing to do with Facebook, which Mr Zuckerberg didn’t conceive of until later.

A federal judge in Buffalo, New York, dismissed the suit last year, calling the contract “a fabrication”. The judge also dismissed a lawsuit by Mr Ceglia seeking to block the New York prosecution. Mr Ceglia has appealed both decisions.

Mr Ceglia, who lives in Wellsville, New York, was ordered to wear a monitoring device as a condition of his pretrial release on bail.

Before he was charged, he moved temporarily to Ireland. The judge in his civil suit ordered him to return to the US or face dismissal of his claims.

Mr Ceglia had returned to Corofin, Co Galway — the home of his mother Veronica — for more than a year from 2011, with his children.

He lived in Corofin for six years as a child, attending Cummer National School. His grandparents, Nora and Andy Keaveney, for years ran a dance hall in the areal .

Bloomberg


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