Facebook Faceoff

Paul Ceglia’s Case Against Facebook Is Now Officially a Farce

Mr. Ceglia. (facebook.com)

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. Read More

Paul Ceglia Must Return From Ireland If He Wants to Continue Suing Facebook

Mr. Ceglia.

Paul Ceglia, the mysterious upstate New Yorker suing Facebook, escaped to his childhood hometown in Ireland back in August. But now a judge is ordering him to come back and finish what he started. It’s been more than 18 months since Mr. Ceglia first alleged his claim for half of the social network, based on contract work done by Mark Zuckerberg in 2003. Now a judge is saying Mr. Ceglia is withholding electronic evidence and must come back to the U.S. to conduct a search for a few flash drives Facebook says will prove Mr. Ceglia forged documents. Read More

Facebook Faceoff

Paul Ceglia Loses Fifth Lawyer, Marijuana Champion; Gains New Lawyer, Accidental Child Pornographer


Facebook has been digging up fantastic dirt related to the case of Paul Ceglia, an upstate wood pellet salesman whose fascinating career included hiring Mark Zuckerberg in 2003. First, the social network revealed that Mr. Ceglia had been arrested for felony possession of mushrooms–hardly relevant, but fun!–then it was made known that one of Mr. Ceglia’s attorneys, Jeffrey Lake of San Diego, specializes in medical marijuana cases. Read More

Facebook Faceoff

Paul Ceglia: The Man Who Would Have Facebook

Illustration by David Saracino.

PAUL CEGLIA IS A PUDGY 38-YEAR-OLD, with greasy black hair and creases around his light brown eyes, a serial small-time entrepreneur who could sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. “He’s got tremendous confidence,” said Bill Castle, an upstate hotelier and one of Mr. Ceglia’s many bilious former business partners. “Smiles all the time, got this award-winning smile. Even when under pressure, he continues to smile.”

Mr. Ceglia piqued the nation’s curiosity when he filed a lawsuit last year in the Supreme Court of New York’s Allegany County claiming 84 percent ownership of Facebook; he piqued Betabeat’s when we read that he had been arrested for felony possession of magic mushrooms in Texas, claimed to have founded a natural burial cemetery in Ithaca and once operated an ice cream shop.

He also ran a video rental store, flipped real estate on eBay and owns a wood pellets company that was shut down by the Attorney General due to allegations of fraud. He’s currently working on a prototype of a “refrigerator/cookstove for use in developing nations,” he told the Wellsville Daily Reporter.

While none of his schemes have been especially lucrative so far, one failed venture may yet make him rich: StreetFax.com, a database of street photographs that Mr. Ceglia intended to license to insurance companies for use in evaluating claims, was built in part with code written by a young for-hire developer named Mark Zuckerberg. A 2003 contract with the programmer, now better known as the founder of Facebook, is the basis of Mr. Ceglia’s claim that he is entitled to half of the company. Read More

Cool or Not

Paul Ceglia, Man Suing Facebook, Says He’s Not In It For the Money

paul ceglia

Because $40 billion dollars just isn’t as cool as a national media circus. Paul Ceglia, the upstate New Yorker who is suing Facebook claiming a 50 percent ownership based on a 2003 contract with Mark Zuckerberg for programming work, is holed up in Ireland and, for the most part, keeping his mouth shut. But one of his lawyers, San Diego attorney Jeffrey Lake, is giving statements–and he says despite his client isn’t just looking for a payday. Despite the fact that Mr. Ceglia’s side motioned to move the case to arbitration, which would be the first step toward settling out of court, Mr. Lake says his client wants his day in court. “He wants his case heard on the merits,” Mr. Lake told San Diego’s KGTV. Read More

Law and Order

Paul Ceglia Says Facebook Is Playing Dirty, Calls for Help at PaulsCase.com


Paul Ceglia, the upstate New Yorker who paid Mark Zuckerberg for contracted programming work in 2003, has broken his silence to his hometown newspaper, the Wellsville Daily, and to ZDNet. This morning Facebook filed a contract its lawyers claim they found on Mr. Ceglia’s computer which makes no mention of The Facebook–but Mr. Ceglia says it’s a fake. Writing from Ireland, Mr. Ceglia says he’s being bullied by the billionaire, whose lawyers dredged up dirt from his past and gave it to the media, calling him an “inveterate scam artist” and hammering on an obviously irrelevant past arrest for possession of psychedelic mushrooms. Read More

Law and Order

Facebook Lawyers: Good News! We Have Proof Paul Ceglia Does Not Own Half of Facebook, and, Uh, We Think He Went to Ireland


After just three weeks of combing through Paul Ceglia’s electronic documents, Facebook says it has found the “smoking gun” that proves the upstate New Yorker’s claim to half of Facebook is bogus in a case that has stretched over a year: the original contract between one Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student looking for spare cash in 2003, and Mr. Ceglia, who enlisted his services via Craigslist for the photo evidence site StreetFax.com. Mr. Ceglia claims the contract proves he gave Mr. Zuckerberg the initial $1,000 investment for The Facebook; Team Zuckerberg says The Facebook wasn’t even a germ of an idea at the time. Read More