Now that the Winklevoss twins have been sent packing by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (with a kick in the ass on the way out the door from the rest of the Ninth Circuit), with a 0.00% chance of the Supreme Court taking their case, Facebook’s lawyers can focus on the latest “Actually, I Own Facebook” lawsuit.
Paul Ceglia claims to have a contract with Mark Zuckerberg that entitles him to half of the company. Zuck supposedly signed away a stake in Facebook in 2003 while a Harvard undergrad in exchange for $2,000 in seed money from Ceglia.
In an amended complaint filed in April (with the help of DLA Piper), Ceglia claimed to have some damning emails from Zuckerberg where they discussed “the face book” project at length. Ceglia said the emails showed that Zuck deceived him, allegedly telling him the site was not very popular with the Harvard kids, and asking him if he would like his $2,000 back — at the same time as Zuckerberg was moving out to California to ramp up operations.
Lawyers at Gibson Dunn filed Facebook’s response to Ceglia’s lawsuit this week, calling him a scam artist and saying that the contract he claims to have is “doctored” and that the evidence he has produced is “fabricated.” Here’s the scorching opener to the answer, which was certainly written as much for the media as for the judge….
This lawsuit is a brazen and outrageous fraud on the Court. Plaintiff is an inveterate scam artist whose misconduct extends across decades and borders. His latest and most far-reaching fraud is the Amended Complaint filed in this action, which is based upon a doctored contract and fabricated evidence. Plaintiff alleges that he recently “discovered” a purported contract that now supposedly entitles him to ownership of 50 percent of Zuckerberg’s interest in Facebook. The purported contract was signed in 2003, yet Plaintiff waited until 2010 to file this action — a seven-year delay during which Plaintiff remained utterly silent while Facebook grew into one of the world’s best-known companies. Plaintiff has now come out of the woodwork seeking billions in damages.
That last sentence is funny because Ceglia is a wood pellet salesman.