New York man suing Facebook passes lie-detector test, his lawyers say
Paul Ceglia, who alleges that he's entitled to half of Mark Zuckerberg's stake in Facebook, passed a lie-detector test, his lawyers said in a court filing Friday.
The polygraph focused on the authenticity of the 2003 contract with Zuckerberg, the co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, and showed "no deception," according to the filing in federal court in Buffalo, N.Y.
Ceglia opposes Facebook's June 2 request that it be permitted to immediately review the contract and the emails Ceglia said he exchanged with Zuckerberg without having to produce any evidence. Ceglia has not produced original copies of the contract or the emails.
Instead Ceglia's lawyers are asking the court to order both sides to turn over evidence to determine if the contract is authentic and to order the two sides into mediation.
A hearing on the motions is scheduled for June 30.
Robert Brownlie, an attorney for Ceglia, declined to comment. In an emailed statement, the two law firms representing Ceglia said: "Not only does Mr. Ceglia possess an original agreement, it has been examined by two forensic document experts."
Facebook has alleged that Ceglia is a scam artist and that the contract is "an amateurish forgery" and the emails fabricated.
Orin Snyder, a Gibson Dunn partner who is representing Zuckerberg and Facebook, called Ceglia's lawsuit "a shell game, shifting and changing with every filing."
"This latest court filing confirms that the bogus emails are, literally, a cut-and-paste job, just like the so-called contract is a fraud. There is a deafening silence in these papers: Ceglia does not dispute that he has a track record of forging documents to rip people off," Snyder said in an emailed statement. "And the fact that this plaintiff now has to rely on a polygraph test says it all. Everyone knows polygraph tests are easily manipulated, which is why courts routinely disregard them."
Facebook concedes that Zuckerberg did some programming work for Ceglia in 2003 to earn money while he was a freshman at Harvard. But the company denies Zuckerberg gave Ceglia a stake in Facebook.
For years Zuckerberg has battled allegations from fellow Harvard students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss that they, not Zuckerberg, came up with the idea for Facebook. Now he's wrestling with another person making claims to the billions in wealth he has created with Facebook, which has been valued as high as $100 billion.
-- Jessica Guynn
Photo: Facebook page on an iPad. Photo credit: Reuters