For those who are not aware, Ceglia has been waging a legal war against the man most people recognize as the head of Facebook, Mark Zuckenberg. According to Ceglia, he, in fact, owns 85 percent of the company.
Now, several media sources are reporting that Ceglia has uprooted his family and himself from their New York home and moved to Galway, Ireland (Ceglia lived in Ireland for six years), citing too much attention and pressure living in the States. The move comes despite a scheduled court appearance from the man who claims to have been slandered by Zuckenberg.
So, is Ceglia’s U.S. departure really in the best interests of him and his family, or is to run away from a somewhat checkered past that has been receiving more scrutiny as of late?
As a little research of Ceglia shows, his past includes pleading guilty to possessing 400 grams of a controlled substance, and being charged (with his wife) on one count first-degree scheme to defraud and 12 counts of fourth-degree grand larceny in November 2009, as owners of Allegany Pellets LLC.
The Claim to Facebook
According to Ceglia, he met Zuckerberg in 2003, after posting a Craigslist ad looking for assistance with his Web site, StreetFax.
Ceglia proceeded to file a lawsuit against Zuckenberg, who oversees the social media leader and is reportedly worth $13.5 billion, claiming he and Zuckerberg came to an agreement in April of 2003 with a fee of $1,000 that entitled Ceglia half of the Web site’s revenue, along with an additional 1 percent interest in the business per day after Jan. 1, 2004 (if Zuckerberg was slow to unveil the site), until Web site completion.
Ceglia’s lawsuit efforts have proven a rollercoaster ride; with the law firm representing him withdrawing from the case in June of this year (Ceglia retained new legal representation, with Edelson McGuire, withdrawing a month later).
In making this case seem like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, Ceglia claims that Zuckenberg has tried on numerous attempts to slander him, along with playing tricks with his family.
In an email to Ceglia’s hometown publication the Wellsville (N.Y.) Daily Reporter, he wrote he’s had to deal with “Waking up to discover people hiding in a back field with binoculars, to being followed day-in and day-out by these guys, to coming home and finding a back window open that I know I personally locked causes what I can only say borders on paranoia and I refuse to let the bad guys win through intimidation tactics.”
Facebook Fights Back
For its part, Facebook’s legal team has claimed that Ceglia’s contract was forged and that he is nothing more than an “inveterate scam artist.”
Facebook noted recently in a court filing that it had discovered a “smoking gun,” providing evidence that Ceglia’s claim to part ownership in Facebook is a scam.
Additional motions in the case are slated for Aug. 17 in Buffalo.
Meantime, is it safe to assume Ceglia will not be jetting back across the pond for the next court date?
If he doesn’t, maybe he will share his next move on Facebook?
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