This is exactly what Paul Ceglia has been claiming for sometime now. He says he had hired Mark Zuckerberg for some projects in the past, and had financed FaceBook during its founding stages. According to the documents furnished by him, he was promised 50% of FaceBook shares. The contract dates back to 2003, when FaceBook was just making a strong emergence onto the World Wide Web.
The surrounding controversies are getting murkier, though, and a Federal judge seems to be losing his patience. The reason being, Paul has been unable to furnish the vital documents that could dilute his claims. The documents are supposedly stored in a flash drive. To worsen matters, Paul seems to have lost that flash drive which could decide the outcome of the lawsuit.
Leslie G. Foschio, the U.S. magistrate judge, has ordered Ceglia to find the lost flash drive. Orin S. Snyder, the Facebook lawyer, finds it ironic. He feels that asking Ceglia for the flash drive is as good as asking the murderer to find the murder weapon, which is not really going to happen. Why would Ceglia want to let the documents reach the court if they would weaken his claims?
The judge does not want to take the reason given at its face value, and he has been questioning how anyone could lose a device holding such vital documents. Dean Boland, Ceglia’s lawyer, defended this point by saying that it is a tiny device which could have easily been lost. He also emphasized that his client would not have left his country just to make up false stories of this magnitude, which of course makes no sense.
The missing flash drive is something that the FaceBook team would love to get their hands on, as they could destroy all the ownership claims made by Ceglia. They have hit back strong at the claimant, saying that the lawsuit is simply based on fabricated emails and forged contract papers.
Foschio has now ordered Ceglia to produce the emails for the court. Snyder, the defense lawyer believes that those emails could be very helpful in proving that the so called contract is nothing but a fraud. He also said that there were sharp discrepancies between the two emails produced and the documents were doctored to make them look old.
Ceglia on the other hand questioned the fading and coloring and the contract papers that are in front of the judge now. He feels that they were tampered with during the document forensic exams that were conducted by the FaceBook team. He has appealed to the judge to issue sanctions against Facebook, and to prohibit them from using the contract that they altered.
Boland, Ceglia’s fourth lawyer in the case, suggested that the mere yellowing of the document does not necessarily disprove the authenticity of the contract. He has been making strong arguments against all the fraud and deceit claims made against his client by Snyder. He says that Snyder has been making allegations instead of producing concrete evidence.
On the other hand, The Facebook lawyers reminded the judge that the claimant has not been able to produce the important documents for the court. They may soon file for a dismissal of Ceglia’s lawsuit and appeal the sanctions place on them. This would mean that he would have to leave Ireland and return to Western New York.