Boston developer wants cut of Winklevoss twins' $65-million Facebook settlement
A Boston software developer has been awarded a day in court to make his case for a cut of the Winklevoss twins' $65-million settlement with Facebook, according to a report.
Developer Wayne Chang has argued in a lawsuit that he and his former company, i2hub Organization, were blocked from receiving any money in the Winklevoss twins' 2008 settlement with Facebook through actions taken by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, their company ConnectU, and their law firm, according to a report from the National Law Journal.
Chang said in the December 2009 suit that he is due a share of the settlement because he entered into a "memorandum of understanding that gave him a 15% share of ConnectU for integrating i2hub's peer-to-peer file-sharing software and ConnectU's website," the Journal reported.
The software developer also claims in his suit that he formed the Winklevoss Chang Group partnership with the Winklevoss twins to specifically own and operate jointly the social networking website ConnectU and the peer-to-peer file-sharing website and application i2hub, the report said.
In his suit, Chang argues that his 50% stake in the Winklevoss Chang Group entitles that half of the twins' 2008 settlement with Facebook should be his, or he is due a 15% share because of the memorandum of understanding with ConnectU, the Journal said.
Judge Peter Lauriat, of the Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts, issued a court order on April 28 that said Chang's suit could proceed, but only against ConnectU, the Winklevoss twins and shareholders Howard Winklevoss and Divya Narendra, the report said.
The suit, Lauriat ruled, will not however apply to ConnectU's lawyers, the Journal said.
"Chang alleges that he has received nothing in return for the substantial benefits he provided to ConnectU, including the value of his work, as well as i2hub's users and goodwill," Lauriat wrote in his court order, according to the report.
The claims allowed to move forward in the suit include an alleged breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of partnership and breach of fiduciary duty, the Journal said.
The Winklevoss twins were not available for comment on Thursday afternoon. But Winklevosses did file a petition in April with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a court ruling that said the two men can't get out of their 2008 settlement with Facebook.
The twins have been trying to get out of their Facebook settlement in suits of their own against the world's largest social networking website, arguing that after the $65-million agreement was reached, they learned that their stock was worth less than were led to believe.
Facebook's value has skyrocketed since 2008 and the Winklevoss' settlement is believed to currently be worth about $160 million.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: Cameron Winkelvoss, left, and his identical twin brother, Tyler Winklevoss. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times