Ceglia Loses Bid to Dismiss Case Claiming Facebook Fraud

Paul Ceglia lost a second bid to dismiss criminal charges he filed a fraudulent claim to half-ownership of Facebook Inc. based on a phony contract and faked e-mails.

U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick in New York rejected Ceglia’s argument that the prosecution violates his constitutional right to petition the government.

Ceglia sued Facebook and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg in 2010, claiming the two signed a contract in 2003 giving Ceglia the right to half the company.

Facebook and Zuckerberg said the document was a forged version of a contract Zuckerberg had signed to do freelance website coding for Ceglia. They said the genuine contract had nothing to do with Facebook, which Zuckerberg didn’t conceive of until later.

A federal judge in Buffalo, New York, dismissed the suit last year, calling the contract “a fabrication.” The judge also dismissed a suit by Ceglia seeking to block the New York prosecution. He’s appealed both decisions.

Ceglia is scheduled to be tried on charges of mail fraud and wire fraud on May 4.

The case is U.S. v. Ceglia, 12-cr-00876, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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