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This article was published on March 26, 2013

US Judge moves to dismiss Paul Ceglia’s lawsuit against Facebook, calls contract a “fabrication”

US Judge moves to dismiss Paul Ceglia’s lawsuit against Facebook, calls contract a “fabrication”

It’s been a bumpy road for Facebook in its efforts to fend off a lawsuit from Paul Ceglia, who claimed as much of 84% ownership of the social networking service, but a US federal judge has recommended that the case be dismissed since Ceglia’s contract is a “recently created fabrication.”

Buffalo News was first to report Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio’s decision.

Ceglia first filed suit against Facebook in 2010, producing an alleged contract between him and Mark Zuckerberg from 2003. Zuckerberg appears to have worked for Ceglia’s company that year, so the working theory from officials is that Ceglia used the signature page from the original employment contract to fabricate the documment.

His prospects for the case haven’t looked too positive lately though, as Ceglia was arrested last year under suspicion of forging the contract and other evidence. A handwriting expert called in to analyze the document had found a number of discrepancies.

“As alleged, by marching into federal court for a quick payday based on blatant forgery, Paul Ceglia has bought himself another day in federal court for attempting a multi-billion dollar fraud against Facebook and its CEO,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said when Ceglia was taken into custody.

Given Facebook’s current market capitalization, Ceglia’s claimed portion of the company would have been worth over $50 billion. According to the allegedly bogus contract, Zuckerberg signed away 50% his company with an additional 1% per day that the job wasn’t completed.

Image credit: AFP / Getty Images