Ex-Con Sues Mark Zuckerberg for 50 Percent Stake in Facebook - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 04-13-2011, 09:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ex-Con Sues Mark Zuckerberg for 50 Percent Stake in Facebook

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Forget about the weary, there's no rest for the legal team of the rich of famous. In yesterday's episode in 'As the Social Networking World Turns,' an appeals court essentially told the Winklevoss twins to figure out how to be happy with a combined $160 million in cash ($20 million) and ownership in Facebook (worth about $140 million). And today? A convicted felon is stepping forward saying Mark Zuckerberg agreed to give him a 50 percent stake in Facebook in exchange for startup funding. Sounds shady, so why is anyone taking him seriously?

Paul Ceglia, the ex-con charged with fraud in connection with a wood pallet company and possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms in 1997, says he has emails from Zuckerberg that support his claim, Business Insider reports.

"Paul, I have a rather serious issue to discuss with you, according to our contract I owe you over 30 percent more of the business in late penalties which would give you over 80 percent of the company," an alleged email from Zuckerberg reads. "First I want to say that I think that is completely unfair because I did so much extra work for you on your site that caused those delays in the first place and second I don't even think it is legal to charge such a huge penalty. Mostly though I just won't even bother putting the site live if you are going to insist on such a large percentage. I'd like to suggest that you drop the penalty completely and that we officially return to 50/50 ownership."

This purportedly took place back in 2003, which brings up the question of why Ceglia waited to long to file suit. Ceglia says he waited because he thought he lost the documents supposedly proving his investment. As the story goes, he recently found them, which include not only the above email, but several others, and is now being represented by a much bigger law firm than the one he teamed up with last summer.

If the emails are indeed fake, they're at least convincing. "The emails don't read 'fake,'" Business Insider writes. Reuters came to the same conclusion saying, "The emails Facebook says are fake don't seem that way to me."

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