Paul Ceglia, who has been waging a legal war against Mark Zuckerberg from Ireland, has been ordered to return back to the US by a New York Court.
Ceglia, who claims to be the rightful owner of an 84% stake in Facebook, has argued that he provided Zuckerberg with the seed money for a website called “The Face Book” or “The Page Book”.
Judge Leslie Foschio has now ordered Ceglia to return to the US to look for removable computer storage devices he claims are both no longer in his possession and integral to proving his case.
Alternatively, Foschio ordered Ceglia to provide a sworn declaration explaining how he lost or disposed of the storage devices.
Ceglia submitted a copy of a contract with Zuckerberg to the court hearing the case in Buffalo, New York, but lawyers for Zuckerberg and Facebook have denounced it as a fraud.
They said the document is a doctored version of another contract concerning work Zuckerberg did for Ceglia in 2003 on a website called StreetFax, which provided a photo database of traffic intersections for insurance adjusters.
Facebook lawyers have repeatedly denounced the suit by Ceglia as a “brazen and outrageous fraud” and described him as a “hustler.”
Facebook’s origins have been the subject of two recent books and a hit Hollywood movie, “The Social Network.”
A pair of Harvard University classmates, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, have been involved in a long-running dispute with Zuckerberg over Facebook, claiming he stole their idea for the social network.
Facebook, which launched in 2004, has become the world’s most popular social network with more than 800-million members. Zuckerberg’s net worth was recently estimated at US$6.9 billion by Forbes magazine. — AFP with additional reporting by Staff Reporter