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Wellsville’s Paul Ceglia arrested by federal agents - VIDEO

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Wellsville, NY resident Paul Ceglia, who made national news for suing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last summer, has been arrested by federal agents, the above CNBC video reports.

Following up CNBC’s report was the release of Forbes’ more detailed account of the story:

Federal agents arrested 39-year-old Paul Ceglia at his home in Wellsville, N.Y, this morning and charged him with trying to defraud Zuckerberg and Facebook in a multi-billion scheme that involved filings a bogus lawsuit that claimed Ceglia had once been promised a 50% stake in Facebook.

Ceglia’s claim was that a two-page document—signed by his business partner at the time, Zuckerberg, and written before the creation of Facebook—is evidence that more than 50% of the social media foundation’s fortune belongs to Ceglia. As the federal agents discovered, Ceglia was a greedy fraudster determined to capitalize on the wild success of a former co-worker.

Coincidentally, Ceglia includes a quote at the bottom of his Facebook profile from acclaimed cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

I think that vision of “changing the world” became a little distorted in Ceglia’s mind.

While the film The Social Network certainly delves into the legal complications that can stem from fraudsters and a company’s unprecedented growth, it’s the rather bizarre nature of Ceglia that hits closer to home for Western New Yorkers.

Written this March, a piece by Thomson Reuters’ Alison Frankel elaborates on strategies to avoid when suing a corporate billionaire like Zuckerberg. Here’s a taste:

Don’t leave seven additional drafts of your allegedly doctored contract—as well as a “hex editor” program that permits digital manipulation of raw data—vulnerable to discovery by the sorts of forensic experts a billionaire tech defendant can be reliably expected to hire. Yep, Gibson, Dunn asserts Ceglia did that, too.

Check out S.J. Velasquez’s post from last summer about Ceglia’s claims of harassment against Zuckerberg and the former wood pellet salesman’s quick scape to Ireland.

(Header photo courtesy of Paul Ceglia’s public Facebook profile).

TAGGED: cnbc, facebook fraud, forbes, mark zuckerberg, paul ceglia, the social network, wellsville

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