Alleged Facebook stakeholder explains that he "forgot" about his investment
Paul Ceglia, the man who is suing Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he’s rightfully owed an 84% stake in Facebook, has offered up an answer to the burning question of why he would wait more than six years to come forward. Quite simply, Ceglia forgot about the contract until he went digging through files looking for things to sell as he faced lawsuits for fraud, according to a Bloomberg report.
Last fall, Ceglia was arrested and faced charges from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that he had committed fraud by taking $200,000 in prepaid orders for his wood pellet business, and then failing to deliver the goods. It was those events, Ceglia now says, that sent him looking through his old files.
In his interview with Bloomberg, Ceglia said:
If this thing hadn’t happened the way it happened, no way I would have ever started looking through these ancient folders.
The contract would just be sitting in there gathering dust.
Ceglia’s memory of a contract apparently wasn’t jogged by all the hype over the years surrounding the social networking giant and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
The document that caused this dispute is a contract Ceglia says Zuckerberg signed, which not only covered software development work Zuckerberg did for a website Ceglia was creating, but also allegedly his $1,000 investment in the development of Facebook. That investment, he claims, entitled him originally to a 50% stake in the company, but ultimately reached an alleged 84% share when taking into account penalties for Zuckerberg’s failure to get the Facebook site built on time.
Facebook has previously said the lawsuit is frivolous and without merit, and Zuckerberg himself said he did not sign a contract with Ceglia that would give him control of Facebook.
With Facebook now worth in excess an estimated $20 billion, a lot is at stake for Zuckerberg, the company’s employees and its other investors.