Facebook Fugitive’s Brother Left Holding the Bag on Skipped Bail

  • Paul Ceglia fled charges he faked contract with Zuckerberg
  • U.S. wants to collect $250,000 from Ceglia’s brother

More than a year after Paul Ceglia cut off his ankle bracelet and fled to escape charges he faked a 2003 contract with Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg, Ceglia’s older brother is left holding the bag for his $250,000 bail.

Ceglia’s been missing, along with his wife, two sons and dog, since March 2015, when U.S. marshals forced their way into Ceglia’s Wellsville, New York, home and discovered he’d fled. The government now says it plans to garnish the wages of Brendan Ceglia to pay off the bond, according to a June 23 letter made public Friday in Manhattan federal court.

A judge in Buffalo, New York, threw out Ceglia’s claim to half of Facebook, ruling that he’d forged the contract and fabricated e-mails between him and Zuckerberg, who in 2003 was a student at Harvard University. Ceglia, who denied wrongdoing, was charged criminally in 2012.

Brendan Ceglia, 50, and parents Carmine and Vera Ceglia were co-signers of Paul’s bond, which was also secured by six properties in Wellsville and nearby Hornell, New York. In the letter, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Wilson told a judge that the properties are worthless because of outstanding tax liens. The parents moved to Ireland after their son fled, according to Deputy U.S. Marshal Michael Malcolm.

The marshals are still working on the case but don’t know the whereabouts of Ceglia, 43, Malcolm said. They’ve offered $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Brendan Ceglia could not be located for comment.

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