Remember Paul Ceglia, the New York businessman who is suing Mark Zuckerberg for an 84 percent ownership stake in Facebook? Monday, he told Bloomberg he never would have filed that lawsuit if he hadn't been arrested for fraud last year.
Of course he wouldn't have filed the lawsuit if he hadn't been arrested. He wouldn't need a quick infusion of cash if he wasn't facing a restitution order and fines. But that's not how Ceglia is spinning it. Writer Bob Van Voris reported:
Ceglia's arrest...got him looking through old files to find assets to pay back customers, he said in an interview in his home in Wellsville, New York. One of those files held a forgotten 2003 contract with Mark Zuckerberg.
Until he found the contract, Ceglia says, he had forgotten about it.
But the fact that Ceglia has only produced a photocopy of what he claims is the original document gives Facebook representatives reason to doubt its authenticity. In a written statement, the company called Ceglia's claims "absurd...if not outright fraudulent."
The timing of the suit also raises eyebrows. If you think you have a claim to Facebook, why wait seven years after the fact to raise that claim? Again, Ceglia says he forgot. But I don't buy that any more than I buy that he happened to find the contract just when he needed a pile of cash to pay back his customers.
Think about it. If you worked or went to school with someone who eventually made it big - wrote a best-seller, ran a big business, whatever -- wouldn't you just have fun dropping his name every now and then, whether you stood to gain anything from it or not? I would. In fact, I've done it. One of my good friends from college went on to write an award-winning novel. I was so proud of her I couldn't wait to tell people about that book.
I certainly didn't forget I'd even associated with her, even though the book was published 10 years after we graduated.
I can't imagine the court will entertain this suit much longer.