Facebook’s lawyers are ready to close the bizarre case in which an upstate New York wood pellet salesman, Paul Ceglia, claimed to own half of the social network thanks to an old Craigslist gig. To sum up: Mr. Ceglia paid Mark Zuckerberg for some coding on a project of his that bore no resemblance to Facebook, but it was around the time that Facebook was invented. The court case has gone on for more than a year and Mr. Ceglia has burned through six legal teams and disappeared to Ireland, where he lived for a few years as a child and has some family.
But now it seems like the case is drawing to a close: a judge has declared Mr. Ceglia in contempt of court and ordered the entrepreneur to pay $5,000 for not turning over some emails Facebook wanted, reports the Buffalo News. “The judge also ordered Paul Ceglia to pay for part of Facebook’s attorney fees and expenses, an amount likely to be substantially higher,” the paper says. You think?
Facebook’s lawyers said they plan to file for dismissal soon. Will the ruination of Paul Ceglia deter future Facebook wannabes, or will the prospect of the Winklevi’s $60 million settlement and the company’s impending IPO continue to tempt anyone who ever signed a paper or made a pinkie swear with Mark Zuckerberg to head to court?