The long-running saga of Paul Ceglia may finally be nearing its end, as U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York Judge Leslie Foschio recommended that the lawsuit in which Ceglia claims to own one-half of Facebook be dismissed.
AP reported that Foschio ruled that the contract between Ceglia and Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, dated April 28, 2003, contained no references to Facebook, and Zuckerberg said earlier that the idea for the social network didn’t even exist at that time. The judge ruled that Ceglia altered the original contract prior to filing his lawsuit in 2010. Foschio wrote:
The evidence filed by (Ceglia) in opposition, although voluminous, simply is replete with patent inconsistencies, demonstrating that the work-for-hire document is a gross fabrication.
According to AP, the 155-page report by Foschio and his recommendations will now to a district judge, with each side having 14 days to file objections.
Facebook Deputy General Counsel Colin Stretch reacted to Foschio’s ruling, as reported by AP:
Today’s federal court decision confirms what we have said from day one: This lawsuit is an inexcusable fraud based on forged documents. We are pleased the court agrees.
The Ceglia soap opera has contained a little bit of everything since the suit was filed in 2010:
- Ceglia was ordered to reimburse Facebook for almost $90,000 in attorney fees last November.
- That same month, he pleaded not guilty to one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud, after being arrested on those charges last October.
- Lawyers continually dropped or sought to drop the case.
- A report prepared for Facebook by forensic document examiner and handwriting expert Gus Lesnevich, revealed last November, basically sealed Ceglia’s fate, as it represented proof that the contract was altered.
- Ceglia incurred the wrath of Foschio on several occasions during the lawsuit.
- Ceglia mysteriously disappeared to Ireland in late 2011, smack in the middle of the case.
Readers: Did Ceglia’s lawsuit ever really have a shot?