Facebook scored another win in the ongoing suit with fraudster Paul Ceglia.
Ceglia, the man who filed suit one year ago claiming 84 percent of Facebook, has been ordered by a judge to give the social networking site access to emails and contracts housed on his computer, which will also undergo a forensics examination.
Facebook hopes the evidence will prove Ceglia has forged other things in the past, which suggests that he might have made up portions of this claim, if not all of it.
It all started during Mark Zuckerberg’s freshman year at Harvard University. Both sides agree that Ceglia approached Zuckerberg to work on his StreetFax.com project, in April 2003. Facebook claims neither the company name nor Zuckerberg’s appear in the contract. And Facebook wasn’t conceived until 2004.
Facebook also claims that the materials Ceglia put forth to prove his case are fraudulent. The magistrate judge granted Ceglia’s team access to about 176 emails between the two men from Zuckerberg’s Harvard account. Ceglia had initially requested materials, such as instant messages and emails, dating back as far as 2004.
In court papers, Facebook’s lawyers have called Ceglia “a career scam artist.” Ceglia’s lawyers said in court papers that he showed no deception on a June 11 polygraph test in which he was asked if he’d forged or doctored the contract. Facebook is discounting the polygraph results.
This latest news comes just two days after Ceglia was “fired” by his own attorneys for the third time. DLA Pipe quit the case after less than three months on the job, effectively stripping a great deal of credibility from his suit; the newest representation, Jeffrey Lake of San Diego, has a checkered past and currently defends 200 medical marijuana providers against law enforcement and the government.
After all that, today’s ruling in favor of Facebook seems to bode well for the social network’s plans to argue that Ceglia forged evidence. Like the Associated Press reported:
A federal judge Thursday granted Facebook’s request for expedited access to the materials, giving Ceglia of Wellsville until July 15 to produce
Ceglia will in turn gain access to relevant emails from Zuckerberg’s Harvard University account.
Ceglia contends he has a signed agreement that proves he bought into Zuckerberg’s Facebook idea when he hired Zuckerberg to work on another project when Zuckerberg was a Harvard freshman in 2003.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company contends that agreement is a forgery.
Readers, what impact do you think the judge’s decision will have on the case?