Reports: Man claiming half of Facebook suffers setbacks

Attorneys representing him resigned, and the judge ordered him to turn over computers and electronic and paper evidence

The New York man suing Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg for a massive stake worth billions of dollars in the company has suffered several setbacks recently in the case, according to published reports.

Two high-powered law firms representing him resigned this week, and the judge denied his motion to postpone a hearing held on Thursday so that his new attorneys could have extra time to get up to speed in the case.

In the hearing, Judge Leslie G. Foschio from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York granted a Facebook motion to force the plaintiff to turn over data on his computer, including e-mail and documents related to his claim, as well as paper-based evidence, various media outlets reported, including the Associated Press and Bloomberg.

Paul Ceglia alleges that he owns 50 percent of Facebook because back in 2003, Zuckerberg, then a Harvard undergraduate, sold him the stake in the company for $1,000.

Back then, Facebook's site hadn't yet been launched and the company hadn't yet been incorporated. It was a project Zuckerberg was working on in his dorm room. According to recent estimates, a 50 percent stake in Facebook today would be worth between $25 billion and $35 billion.

Ceglia has submitted as evidence copies of the purported contract he claims Zuckerberg signed but not the original, and the text of e-mail allegedly exchanged between the two men.

Facebook maintains that the evidence that would prove Ceglia's claim is forged, and this week Judge Foschio approved the company's motion to have Ceglia's computer equipment and electronic and paper documents examined in an expedited manner to determine their authenticity.

Ceglia has said he hired Zuckerberg to do programming work for a website Ceglia ran called StreetFax.com, a database of traffic intersection photos and information aimed at insurance adjusters. He claims that after meeting Zuckerberg, he acquired the contested stake in the company.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and serviceslegalCivil lawsuitssocial networkinginternetsocial mediaFacebook

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?