Who is Paul Ceglia? Potentially the owner of 50 percent of Facebook shares and a man worth about $10 billion, according to Business Insider.
Ceglia, the owner of a wood-pellet company called Allegany Pellets in New York, has filed an extensive lawsuit backed by DLA Piper – one of the largest law firms in the world – claiming that emails exchanged between himself and Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.com, entitles him to 50 percent of Facebook's ownership.
Why has Ceglia not come forward before?
The answer is that he has, but only last year, which was about 7 years after the supposed emails were exchanged during Facebook's inception in 2003.
Zuckerberg was a Harvard student developing a social networking site and working for Ceglia on a project called StreetFax at the time. Ceglia provided Zuckerberg with $2,000 of funding, which Ceglia claims Zuckerberg attempted to return to him after Facebook became successful.
Ceglia has been convicted of fraud before, which does not bode well for his reputation. However, DLA Piper is a heavy weight (one word) lawfirm which has done its due diligence before choosing to represent Ceglia.
According to DLA Piper, Ceglia's vast amount of email proof – available online – appears to be valid.
Facebook has responded to Business Insider by calling Ceglia a "scam artist" and "convicted felon."
Ceglia's lawsuit comes barely one day after a judge in San Francisco denied Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss' claims against Facebook. The twin brothers went to Harvard with Zuckerberg and were famously depicted in the movie "The Social Network" as peers whom Zuckerberg beat out in the competition to start a popular online social networking out.
"The Winklevosses are not the first parties bested by a competitor who then seek to gain through litigation what they were unable to achieve in the marketplace. …At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached," said Judge Alex Kozinski.