The FBI arrested Paul Geglia for alleged criminal violations regarding fabricating evidence that Mark Zuckerberg and he signed a contract in 2004 for web design for Facebook. The Complaint filed for mail and wire fraud by the US Postal Service includes these allegations against Ceglia that he:
- filed a federal lawsuit falsely claiming that he was entitled to at least a 50% interest in Facebook.
- has deliberately engaged in a systematic effort to defraud Facebook and Zuckerberg and to corrupt the federal judicial process.
- manufactured and destroyed evidence, for instance replacing a page of the original contract with a fraudulent one that made it look like Zuckerberg had offered Ceglia interest in the company.
Computerworld reported that attorneys for Zuckerberg and Facebook "…commend the United States Attorney for charging Ceglia with federal crimes in connection with his fraudulent lawsuit against Facebook…Ceglia used the federal court system to perpetuate his fraud and will now be held accountable for his criminal scheme."
The criminal charges should not be much of a surprise since in 2010 when Ceglia sued Zuckerberg that Wall Street Journal reported that about Ceglia:
In 2009, New York’s Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo accused Mr. Ceglia of defrauding customers of his wood-pellet fuel company, according to a news release from the Attorney General’s office. The state claimed that he took more than $200,000 from consumers and then failed to deliver any products or refunds. The wood-pellet case is ongoing.
This makes an interesting development in this Facebook ownership case.