Facebook has been largely poised throughout the Winklevoss saga–Mark Zuckerberg and the twins even had a cordial conversation the last time they met face-to-face about two years ago–but the company has decided wood pellet salesman and upstate New Yorker Paul Ceglia, who says he has the right to half of the company, merits less diplomatic messaging, the New York Times reports.
“This lawsuit is a brazen and outrageous fraud on the court,” Facebook wrote in its response. “Plaintiff is an inveterate scam artist whose misconduct extends across decades and borders. His latest and most far-reaching fraud is the amended complaint filed in this action, which is based upon a doctored contract and fabricated evidence. Plaintiff alleges that he recently ‘discovered’ a purported contract that now supposedly entitles him to ownership of 50 percent of Zuckerberg’s interest in Facebook. The purported contract was signed in 2003, yet plaintiff waited until 2010 to file this action — a seven-year delay during which plaintiff remained utterly silent while Facebook grew into one of the world’s best-known companies. Plaintiff has now come out of the woodwork seeking billions in damages.”
Mr. Ceglia claims he and Mr. Zuckerberg had a contract in 2003 that entitles him to 84 percent of Facebook, which he says he had forgotten about until now. The lawsuit was filed in Buffalo; Facebook wants the case dismissed and wants Mr. Ceglia to pay its legal fees.