Facebook wants to see plaintiff Paul Ceglia's original contract and e-mails with Mark Zuckerberg to assess authenticity, calling the documents "complete fabrications," it told a Buffalo federal court today.
""The contract is a cut-and-paste job, the e-mails are complete fabrications and this entire lawsuit is a fraud," Facebook's federal filing said. "(Ceglia) is a convicted felon and well-known scam artist who has spent the last decade of his life ripping people off."
Ceglia is a New York man suing for 50 percent of Facebook based on a contract and e-mails from Facebook founder and chief executive Zuckerberg almost a decade ago. Facebook admits Zuckerberg was contracted to do work for Ceglia, but for site called StreetFax.com which dealt with photos of traffic intersections for insurance companies. Facebook claims that Ceglia doctored the contract and e-mails to say it was for Thefacebook.com, according to the filing.
The filing also said that Facebook hired private detectives that uncovered some of Ceglia's past -- a conviction for possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms, allegations of fraud at his wood-pellet business and a new allegation of Ceglia participating in a "wide-ranging criminal land scam" in Florida and New York.
It appears that Facebook is fighting this lawsuit with some serious money behind it -- so far it's hired a computer forensics firm, a linguistics expert, a document authentication expert and a private detective to battle Ceglia's allegations. If Ceglia was looking for a quick settlement from Facebook, he may have misjudged his opponent.