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Ceglia Sues For 50% Facebook, Old Emails as Evidence

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the worth-looking-at-the-tapes dept.

Facebook 350

Kamiza Ikioi writes "A lawsuit by Paul Ceglia contains never-before-seen emails from Mark Zuckerberg. The emails, if they prove to be real, could be the most damning evidence to date against Zuckerberg's business dealings in the time leading up to 'The Face Book' and just after. They paint a picture of a Zuckerberg more sinister than portrayed in the movie The Social Network, actively out to sucker his investors about the site, including Ceglia. FTA: 'Zuckerberg writes Ceglia an email telling him he's thinking of shutting down the Facebook site, because he's too busy to work on it and there's little interest in it among students. (This is while Facebook is growing like crazy). Ceglia gets really pissed off, and starts accusing Zuckerberg of pulling "criminal stunts."' Among the emails is one where Mark Zuckerberg agrees to split Facebook with Ceglia 50/50. If the emails are proven legitimate, Ceglia may own 50% of Facebook."

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money can't buy you love :) (3, Interesting)

Ferante125 (971811) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800566)

a consolation for us non-billionaires

Re:money can't buy you love :) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800612)

But it can buy you everything else.

Re:money can't buy you love :) (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800844)

It can buy you an "It's complicated" relationship status though.

Re:money can't buy you love :) (1)

NMercy (1076683) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800952)

"Money can't buy you love but it sure is easy to rent sometimes." - Joe Higashi

Re:money can't buy you love :) (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801154)

The best reply to that saying I ever heard was from a successful business manager..

Money may not grant you love but it does give you more freedom to choose your destiny..

Re:money can't buy you love :) (4, Funny)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801482)

"If you think money can't buy you love, then you don't know where to shop"

Re:money can't buy you love :) (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801496)

a consolation for us non-billionaires

Should Zuckerberg lose big here it is comforting to know the Winklevoss twins will be there to give him two shoulders to cry on.

Re:money can't buy you love :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801530)

Al: Bud, what's more important love or money?
Bud: Money dad, I can always rent love.
-- Married with Children - Christmas episode

Date Rape (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800570)

If only they could both lose....

Re:Date Rape (0)

Weezul (52464) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801632)

We all win when the Harvard, Yale, and Stanford alums get replaced by MIT and Berkeley alums.
( I omit CalTech because CalTech people are just plain weird, GA & VA Tech people are cool of course, but probably not rich enough for politics )

Re:Date Rape (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801668)

We all win when the Harvard, Yale, and Stanford alums get replaced by MIT and Berkeley alums.
( I omit CalTech because CalTech people are just plain weird, GA & VA Tech people are cool of course, but probably not rich enough for politics )

What about those of us who graduated from a school in each list?

Group A isn't so uniformly bad and Group B isn't so uniformly good, you know.

Half my data are belong to Ceglia? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800578)

... at least now my data will be sold off by multiple parties.

Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800582)

Zucker. Berg. Not.

Move on.

Trouble parsing this (2)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800586)

Is anyone else having trouble parsing this sentence?

They paint a picture of a Zuckerberg more sinister than portrayed in the movie The Social Network actively out to sucker his investors that the site, including Ceglia.

Either I'm having trouble with English, or the editors are...

Re:Trouble parsing this (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800644)

No luck here. One of us has stopped understanding English, and I'm sure it isn't me...

Re:Trouble parsing this (3, Interesting)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800654)

They paint a picture of Mark Zuckerberg which is more sinister than that portrayed in the movie "The Social Network", seeming to suggest that he was actively out to sucker the investors on that site, including this "Ceglia" character (I assume he's the jock?).

There, FTFY.

Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800596)

Isn't there a running joke about facebook news blurbs always posted by CmdrTaco?

Stupid Zuckerberg (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800598)

To put any of his swindles into writing.

Still, we know how to fake an email header, right? What's going to prove these are genuine?

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800618)

the subpoena that shows it on an intermediate server (ISP or otherwise)

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (4, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800702)

Well, depending on when this happened University mail systems may have been involved. One or both parties or someone that was forwarded or copied on the messages may have be using a commercial e-mail provider. There are a lot of scenarios where there could be independent 3rd party copies of these messages.

Even if no copies come to light immediately Zuckerberg's lawyers are going to be very, very careful about claiming they are false if there is ANY chance they are real. Nothing would go worse for them than claiming the messages as forgeries and then having someone come forward with third party proof.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800922)

Well, depending on when this happened University mail systems may have been involved. One or both parties or someone that was forwarded or copied on the messages may have be using a commercial e-mail provider. There are a lot of scenarios where there could be independent 3rd party copies of these messages.

Even if no copies come to light immediately Zuckerberg's lawyers are going to be very, very careful about claiming they are false if there is ANY chance they are real. Nothing would go worse for them than claiming the messages as forgeries and then having someone come forward with third party proof.

Lawyers tread carefully? I don't think they will. They will assail Mr Ceglia's character, the veracity of his claim, that his email copies are the only ones which exist, etc. I don't see them holding anything back. Burden of proof is on Mr. Ceglia. If he can get his email provider to back him up then he's got a stronger case.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (0, Flamebait)

Hultis (1969080) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801280)

I've never heard of Ceglia before, but all of a sudden the newspapers seem to be filled with rumors about him being a rapist. Hmmm...

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801524)

I've never heard of Ceglia before, but all of a sudden the newspapers seem to be filled with rumors about him being a rapist. Hmmm...

I here Donald Trump will be attempting to prove he wasn't born in this country.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (4, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800872)

The $1,000 check that Zuckerberg cashed, hard to fake that.

Zuckerberg has got to be one of the biggest con-artists of the 21st century, why doesn't he just admit it and give these people 10 billion and move on? What's 10 billion when you already have 50 billion? Still more money than he could spend in his lifetime.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800930)

This is what sickens me. These people have more money than anyone could ever possibly spend, yet STILL manage to be greedy, cheap bastards.

I mean holy shit, if I had $50 billion dollars, I could make sure that not a single one of my close friends would ever have to work again, and I would hardly notice.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801036)

This is what sickens me. These people have more money than anyone could ever possibly spend, yet STILL manage to be greedy, cheap bastards.

I mean holy shit, if I had $50 billion dollars, I could make sure that not a single one of my close friends would ever have to work again, and I would hardly notice.

We think alike. But we're rational. We're also not billionaires (or potential billionaires.)

Money changes people. Anyone who doubts it should read up the sad tales of lottery jackpot winners - the first to win a $40m jackpot in Pennsylvania (IIRC) was broke in a couple years, more so, he was called by his bank as they inquired as to when he would make good on the last few checks he had written as he was seriously overdrawn (but being a man of means and an account which once hosted several figures to the left of the decimal point, they were keeping him covered.) He was, of course, ruined and all his family and friends he showered with gifts were reluctant to return the cars and houses.

Bill Gates may have been a decent enough fellow at one time, but even he wanted to RUIN Java as he saw it as a threat to his empire. Really. The man was already worth more than a billion and he wanted more, more, moar.

I think the same intoxicant caught up with Mark Zuckerberg. At one time he probably would have been thrilled to have enough to by a modest house and a sports car. Now it's snowballing and he wants to keep in snowballing for himself. Looks rather like it's beginning to melt.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (2)

quizzicus (891184) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801136)

Sounds to me like money doesn't change people.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801478)

Money changes some people. Others can still remain the same. As for people wasting all of their money when they get rich, they sound like mere overconfident idiots.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801638)

Actually, there are plenty of rational people that would do what is right with that kind of money. Shit, I wouldn't give a dime to anyone but my parents and my only sibling and even then it would be a set figure that would never be replenished. I would maybe throw my friend a few hundred thousand to day trade with under the understanding that it is my money and I get a cut. The rest of it would be sitting in some kind of fund that is designed to pay me monthly. Id imagine you could pull 5 percent a year on 40 million easy. Some Forex guys can make 40 percent yearly (with a lot of risk). That would end up being 2 million a year. Take 1 million of that out in monthly payments and you are literally set for life. You can buy a car every month and pay for two mortgages on nice houses with that.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801068)

You don't get $50 billion by not being a greedy bastard. No one earns $50 billion honestly.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801160)

You don't get $50 billion by not being a greedy bastard. No one earns $50 billion honestly.

Exactly, plenty of people who could have a lot of money....... just can't lower themselves to do it.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801222)

Indeed, it takes a special kind of sick mind to think they need and even deserve that kind of stuff. If it were me, I would be into some SERIOUS charity work. Trouble is, I would be really picky about who/what deserves things.

(For one thing, I would not contribute to anything I consider to be voluntary misery -- this includes various forms of addiction and other conditions such as obesity. Those things just bug me. I know that when I think i am doing too much of anything, I usually take a moment to evaluate what I am doing and where it is going. And when I have to buy larger clothes, it is time to DIET not time to shop. And if for some reason nothing I do seems to help weight gain, I would go see a doctor, not wallow in it.... but I digress...)

There have been numerous writings about all these rich jackasses who selfishly collect billions and don't even pay taxes. Then, after all their collecting, some of them have simulated consciences and realize they need to give it all away and/or create foundations and activities that doesn't really help the general populous. Want to help the general populous? Run for office and pay down the national debt then get of off this damned Federal Reserve system which is nothing more than a damned revolving credit account that enables the bad behavior we see from government today.

I'll stop here... I could rant for hours

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (3, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801644)

Thank you for stopping, because I threw up in my mouth a little when you referred to addiction as a "voluntary misery".

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (3, Insightful)

iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801474)

Ha ha! You are wrong on so many levels. First, with $50bn you would become a very different person. Second, your "close" friends would never be content with how much you gave them, not to mention how they would fight to be "close" or how they would change in relation with you. And finally, if you really did make sure they had enough money not to ever work again, that would be about the fastest way to fuck up their lives. So you didn't get a single thing right.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801560)

If you become a billionaire I will be your best friend.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1)

still_nfi (197732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801678)

In capitalism, money == power, people can get enough money, but there is no limit to the human desire to acquire power.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (2)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801314)

I suspect because the moment he gives any away more folks will come out of the wood work insisting they are owed a slice of the pie too.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1)

davesque (1911272) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800898)

True. In the digital age, what is genuine?

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801108)

No fucking kidding. We have companies run off a few web servers that get valuations of hundreds of millions of dollars. We have web-based corporations that have valuations that look more GDPs of small countries.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801194)

Still, we know how to fake an email header, right? What's going to prove these are genuine?

Producing the messages with full headers would go to great lengths to prove them genuine, if Ceglia would do that; especially if the e-mail providers have subpoena-able records from their mail server (log entries), including the size of the message.

Then the message with full headers could be analyzed, first to check if the size matched, and if all the relevant portions of the headers matched the system logs from 7 years ago. In some cases there might be checksums or other entries that could validate the e-mail message.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801388)

Would the ISPs even have kept the logs from seven years ago? That seems like a long time.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (2)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801548)

Would the ISPs even have kept the logs from seven years ago? That seems like a long time.

It is a long time, but many organizations will have backups, and basically 10 years of log files.

A number of universities even retain archives of e-mail for 10 years. In some cases, there are laws requiring them to maintain at least 7-10 years of archives, which (if archived) could be sufficient in length to include ZB/Ceglia's message exchange, if it passed through a system with such a retention period.

Re:Stupid Zuckerberg (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801690)

The only thing I don't understand is why the guy waited so long to sue. He says it's because he only recently found the contract while looking for other papers. I see. I forget that I own a large majority of a major corporation all the time.

Ceglia Sues For 50% Facebook, Old Emails as Evi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800616)

Looks like we'll be seeing a sequel to "The Social Network". Coming to a theatre near you in 2012!

Re:Ceglia Sues For 50% Facebook, Old Emails as Evi (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800726)

Looks like we'll be seeing a sequel to "The Social Network". Coming to a theatre near you in 2012!

Or maybe a prequel that breaks cannon? Exciting! I hope it has a JarJar character in it!

Re:Ceglia Sues For 50% Facebook, Old Emails as Evi (0)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800994)

Sorry to do this to you, but as an avid Star Trek fan I can most assuredly tell you that the word you are looking for is a synonym of "scripture", name "canon", which we trekkies moan about more than Star Wars fans since bloody Enterprise, and then WORSE, the new "movie", tear our canon to shreds on more than one occasion...

The cannon you are using fires projectiles, I doubt you meant to say that the new Social Network film will break these antique weapons somehow.

Re:Ceglia Sues For 50% Facebook, Old Emails as Evi (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801020)

Shit after all that perfect grammar there's a simple typo, with no excuse whatsover for it's existence, in my otherwise great comment. ...synonym of "scripture", namely "canon"...

FTFM (Fixed That For Me, before someone else claims the points for doing so!)

Re:Ceglia Sues For 50% Facebook, Old Emails as Evi (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801614)

Shit after all that perfect grammar there's a simple typo, with no excuse whatsover for it's existence, in my otherwise great comment. ...synonym of "scripture", namely "canon"...

FTFM (Fixed That For Me, before someone else claims the points for doing so!)

"It's" should be "its".

Re:Ceglia Sues For 50% Facebook, Old Emails as Evi (1)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801700)

>no excuse whatsover for it's existence

"its"

You should quit correcting stuff now.

Re:Ceglia Sues For 50% Facebook, Old Emails as Evi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800936)

And then a third movie in 2014 or 2015, in which the Winklevoss twins (much like the evil Cobra Kai sensei in Karate Kid 3) make a return to try to exact revenge on the boy wonder.

"If a man can't play Farmville, he can't fight!"

Zuckerberg more sinister than portrayed (5, Funny)

It's the tripnaut! (687402) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800642)

Like!

Re:Zuckerberg more sinister than portrayed (1)

acer123 (88528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801650)

Where's my mod points? This has to be one of the funniest posts I've seen in a long time.

What is facebook? (4, Insightful)

s-whs (959229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800670)

I've not registered with facebook so I can't see much of it. Perhaps good.

In any event, I wish slashdot would go back to the old days of more tech stuff, with more about programming etc. The latest version of afterstep, new C compilers, and of course other stuff such as physics. But too much business crap just and stuff about drivel level science (e.g. global warming deniers, which anyone can show as being nutters with nearly zero time spent) takes much of the fun away.

Perhaps I'm misremembering, perhaps I'm getting different interests and don't want to select rubbish any more.

Being philosophical: I think that's actually what old people have: They are tired of hearing the same old crap again and again from people. They see through the BS and have had enough...

And all this business stuff is such BS, that will always remain, just like politicians are always bad, in just about all countries. These are given.

Re:What is facebook? (4, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800732)

Also, I want a normal phone that makes phone calls. Now get off my lawn.

Re:What is facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801672)

hurrr hurrr hurrr get off my lawn haw haw haw look at me meme jump now i as cool as the other kids in high sk00l!!! u stupid cause u old

HEY have u seen this "ALL UR BASE" thing yet?

(Can we all agree the "get off my lawn" meme is old, tired and stupid yet?)

Re:What is facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800908)

All former Slashdot readers are hanging out on 4chan. Not because it is techy... but it has less censorship.

Slashdot killed itself by making AC's life too hard.

These days people don't register at sites before they don't know they can delete their account again. Slashdot management should wake up and realize this place has been going down for years now.

Google Trends knows it all.

Re:What is facebook? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801296)

I'm not sure you realize the nature of slashdot. As soon as the second news story was posted, people were complaining that slashdot was not as good as it used to be.

Re:What is facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801370)

Sadly true. Today the word "tech" is synonymous with Facebook, Twitter and iPad apps. http://verydemotivational.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/demotivational-posters-cutting-edge.jpg

let them have it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800694)

When Goatsebook and trollspace becomes the next internet bubbles, Facebook will be worth less than a bag of ramen noodles on Walmart rollback.

How are they going to prove they're legitimate? (1)

Zandamesh (1689334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800730)

And if they are proven legitimate, then what? The guy just gets 50% of Facebook?

Re:How are they going to prove they're legitimate? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800804)

My thoughts exactly. I don't like Zuckerberg and wouldn't put any unethical behavior past him, but this Ceglia guy has a pretty bad reputation, and forging email headers is a middle school level trick. My money is on Ceglia losing this one and being sent to prison.

Re:How are they going to prove they're legitimate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800892)

I don't doubt that emails were exchanged between the two. It's the body of the email that should be in question, not the headers.

For example, the email could have said 5%. Any idiot with a text editor can change that to 50%.

Good luck proving anything if Mr. Z didn't sign the messages with PGP.

Re:How are they going to prove they're legitimate? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801058)

I guess you missed the part in the article where they quote the copy of the signed contract they introduced into evidence, along with the cashed check.

Re:How are they going to prove they're legitimate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801210)

I guess you missed the part where this is Slashdot, the site famous for not reading TFA.

Re:How are they going to prove they're legitimate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800902)

Couldnt give a rats arse about the ownership of facebook as long as a lot if people lose a lot of their imaginary, vastly inflated money in the process

Re:How are they going to prove they're legitimate? (3, Interesting)

pastafazou (648001) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801122)

if he's smart, he's already bought a few shares, so when he gets his 50%, he has complete control.

Re:How are they going to prove they're legitimate? (2)

didroe84 (1324187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801606)

That's not how it would work. Assuming he gets 50% of the original company, Facebook has taken lots of private investment since then and that share would be watered down. He would bacially get half of what Zuckerberg's shares are worth, assuming he's kept them all. It all seems pretty fishy at this stage to me though.

Re:How are they going to prove they're legitimate? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801258)

And if they are proven legitimate, then what? The guy just gets 50% of Facebook?

No... even if they are legitimate; what happens still has to be hashed out in court. There may be some arguments that the guy doesn't get 50% of Facebook, even if they are bonafide.

One thing is clear... Zuckerburg didn't sign every e-mail; if he didn't uphold his end, then there wasn't a 50/50 split. It is an open question about how the court would go attempting to cure the breach.

The court might award Ceglia $2,000 plus some additional monetary consideration; if say they determined that what Zuckerburg did with Facebook was way beyond what was covered by the contract, the result might not be 50/50.

It's also possible the court could determine the e-mails weren't part of the contract -- the 1% a day penalty still applies, and the launch date was so delayed that Ceglia is due 300% of Zuckerberg's interest in Facebook; ZB would then be going bankrupt....

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35800926)

How the hell is any of that crap making anyone any money? I still don't see how they have any sort of business model.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Lord Juan (1280214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801070)

How the hell is any of that crap making anyone any money? I still don't see how they have any sort of business model.

AFAIK by selling the "private" data that the users post. The data is then primarily used for profiling by advertisers.

But, there was a note not long ago about Starkbucks taking profile pictures from facebook to use in ads. So I am guessing they sell all kinds of data for all kinds of purposes.

Re:I don't get it (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801300)

Do you see all the ads on Facebook? Do you know how much people pay for those? Do you know that Facebook will sell everything they know about you to anyone who wants that information? Do you have any critical thinking skills at all?

Nobody will sue me! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35800986)

My cousin, a lawyer, who practices in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, told me that I will never need to worry about someone suing me. Why?

My Cousin: "No lawyer will try to sue someone without any money. Now, your employer . . . ? "

I guess that Zuckerberg has too much money in his pockets.

Re:Nobody will sue me! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801240)

My cousin, a lawyer, who practices in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, told me that I will never need to worry about someone suing me. Why?

My Cousin: "No lawyer will try to sue someone without any money. Now, your employer . . . ? "

I guess that Zuckerberg has too much money in his pockets.

Smells more like Mark Zuckerberg is alleged to have promised to share all the gold he can dig up if Paul Ceglia will spot him enough money for a shovel. Turns out the shovel unearths a rather massive amount of gold. Juries have no trouble at all in giving away someone's fortune if the feel they tried to cheat someone out of their share.

I'm just curious what all of this could do to the stock value. If this sort of suit damages Facebook then its value could plummet. It's only so much servers and software, not like another company wouldn't step up to fill the void in the same way Facebook took over for MySpace at the top of the heap.

Re:Nobody will sue me! (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801642)

My cousin, a lawyer, who practices in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, told me that I will never need to worry about someone suing me. Why?

My Cousin: "No lawyer will try to sue someone without any money. Now, your employer . . . ? "

I guess that Zuckerberg has too much money in his pockets.

Your cousin must not do much divorce work. My ex keeps trying to squeeze me for more. My bank account is as shriveled as her heart.

Three possibilites (5, Interesting)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801018)

1. Ceglia has e-mails that can be proven to be genuine. 2. Ceglia has e-mails that can neither be proven to be genuine nor to be forged. 3. Ceglia has e-mails that can be proved to be forged.

According to an article on www.businessinsider.com, "Paul and Iasia Ceglia are charged with 12 counts each of fourth-degree grand larceny and one count each of first-degree scheme to defraud" in what looks like a not very clever scam to get $200,000. That would destroy his credibility and therefore any chance to collect in case (2). And if the emails are forged, then I'd expect them to be provably forged, since Ceglia doesn't seem to be exactly a criminal mastermind.

Re:Three possibilites (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801090)

1. Ceglia has e-mails that can be proven to be genuine. 2. Ceglia has e-mails that can neither be proven to be genuine nor to be forged. 3. Ceglia has e-mails that can be proved to be forged.

According to an article on www.businessinsider.com, "Paul and Iasia Ceglia are charged with 12 counts each of fourth-degree grand larceny and one count each of first-degree scheme to defraud" in what looks like a not very clever scam to get $200,000. That would destroy his credibility and therefore any chance to collect in case (2). And if the emails are forged, then I'd expect them to be provably forged, since Ceglia doesn't seem to be exactly a criminal mastermind.

I'd mod you +1 informative if I hadn't already posted here. Now the plot thickens. Black and white now appears shades of grey. Exciting!

Re:Three possibilites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801464)

Even in case 1, he doesn't have a signed contract. How does an email from a (probably drunk) college student constitute a claim to half of a $50b corp?

Zuckerberg might own less than Ceglia after (1)

aurizon (122550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801052)

the dust settles. The learned elder judges (now in law school) who settle this might say that Ceglia indeed has 50% and that Zuckerbergs settlement with the Winklevosses and other share distributions came from Zuckerberg's shares and not Ceglia, who seems to be the genuinely wronged party. It does not matter that Ceglia ended up selling wood pellets and not delivering - possibly due to lack of proper management more than a life of crime starting.
In any event, Ceglia and his evidence need court scrutiny and forensic verification. Zuckerberg has all the earmarks of a crook, and if he is indeed crooked in this, deserves a lengthy prison term in a fully integrated federal facility.

Re:Zuckerberg might own less than Ceglia after (1)

chargersfan420 (1487195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801162)

in a fully integrated federal facility.

You mean a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison. Why hold back?

Re:Zuckerberg might own less than Ceglia after (1)

aurizon (122550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801252)

LOL.I held back so the poor child might be shielded from such thoughts...

Zuckerberg will become some one bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801284)

Zuckerberg will become some one bitch or sit in Solitary if he does not want a cell mate.

Re:Zuckerberg might own less than Ceglia after (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801356)

It does not matter that Ceglia ended up selling wood pellets and not delivering - possibly due to lack of proper management more than a life of crime starting.

This is a civil case, where the judge has to decide which side is more likely to say the truth. Obviously some forensic examination of the e-mail is needed. But if that examination is inconclusive, then it would matter whether a person can be believed or not. And duping customers out of $200,000 doesn't make your testimony more believable.

Re:Zuckerberg might own less than Ceglia after (1)

aurizon (122550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801470)

Yes, I agree. I did not see that Ceglia sold $200,000 worth of pellets and did not deliver. Google to the rescue http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-ceglia-allegany-pellets-sued-2010-7 [businessinsider.com] . That certainly shows him in a different light and might indeed help the judges

Re:Zuckerberg might own less than Ceglia after (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801682)

"duping customers out of $200,000 doesn't make your testimony more believable."

...except when compared to duping others out of $65,000,000 [law360.com] or more.

Re:Zuckerberg might own less than Ceglia after (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801424)

Zuckerbergs settlement with the Winklevosses and other share distributions came from Zuckerberg's shares and not Ceglia

Those are share distributions by the company. The company FB writing shares to settle the lawsuit dilutes the ownership of all the owners. And Ceglia's holdings would also be diluted, by the settlements, if he had 50/50 in the beginning. The dispute over ownership of the projects' ideas arises no matter how ZB/Ceglia distribute their original share of the company.

Just because Ceglia's day in court comes later does not mean the court protects his interest from dilution resulting from actions against the business.

Zuckerberg has all the earmarks of a crook, and if he is indeed crooked in this, deserves a lengthy prison term in a fully integrated federal facility.

Last I checked, breach of contract is entirely a civil matter. Zuckerberg's penalty for failing to deliver as agreed, would be a financial one (order to redo all of Facebook's accounting work for the past 7 years, with Ceglia having a 50% share at the very beginning, any profits/rewards received from those shares over the years moved from ZB to Ceglia, plus, probably some punitive damages, and Ceglia's legal expenses).

Re:Zuckerberg might own less than Ceglia after (1)

aurizon (122550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801520)

well, I see some of the acts by Zuckerberg being criminal, and there are civil aspects as well. For example is lying a crime when it abets depriving Ceglia of his rightful share?

Re:Zuckerberg might own less than Ceglia after (1)

aurizon (122550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801610)

Let us say, that Zuckerberg dealt off 100% of facebook to the Winklevossen. If what he sold was later shown to be stolen, then can title be regained? Or is there just a remanent suit against Zuckerberg? or is it like a stolen painting or other article that can be drawn back?

Legally binding contract? (0)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801182)

Since when are e-mails a legally binding contract between individuals?

Zuckerberg could have given him the moon in an e-mail but if there's no signed, dated, notarized, contract, it's not going anywhere.

Re:Legally binding contract? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801398)

maybe you missed the part about the signed contract and the cashed check ?

Re:Legally binding contract? (1)

geek (5680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801458)

Verbal contracts are still legally binding: http://biztaxlaw.about.com/b/2009/04/02/are-verbal-contracts-legal.htm [about.com]

Now, lawyers will have a field day with it, but there is plenty of case law on the subject. Don't promise something to someone and then not deliver or purposely mislead them. There can be hell to pay.

Um Paul Ceglia... (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801184)

Was convicted of Fraud before and tried to do this same thing in 2003. I have serious doubts to any validity of this.

Re:Um Paul Ceglia... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801558)

Was convicted of Fraud before and tried to do this same thing in 2003. I have serious doubts to any validity of this.

certainly does cast a shadow, but who is to say this wasn't entirely on the up and up?

Judge and jury, I expect.

legal documents and contracts in an e-mail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801206)

Saying that you will share something 50/50 with someone and actually signing over are two different things entirely. Even if Zuckerberg did say that he would share the site 50/50 does not mean that Ceglia is entitled to anything unless he signed a document saying that he was...

Pretty Damning (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801268)

These emails and the overall correspondence is rather damning. This is very typical of early stage companies, where people throw around all sorts of numbers, and since everyone is essentially arguing over something that at the time is worthless, X% of nothing is no big deal and entrepreneurs basically promise all sorts of things to get people to help them out of desperation, not fully realizing what they are promising because they are so drunk on their idea.

However, once something becomes super valuable, everything changes. People go from arguing over 5 or 10 percent, to tenths of a percent. Still, the fact remains, that if (IFF) this guy's claims are valid, then it's a rather damning portrayal and one that should hold up in court. Outside of the actual proving of the evidence, which is pretty huge, it seems as if this is fairly legitimate. I find Facebook's response, "It's all made up BS, none of it is true", to be rather immature and short-sighted, because if they can show a significant degree of evidence, it will make Facebook and Zuckerberg look TRULY awful, whereas up until now, it has been sort of a cute story worth dramatizing in a movie.

I don't see how to wiggle out of this one, assuming the evidence is decent (cashed checks, signed contracts, etc.), and in fact, I would be terribly disappointed if Ceglia didn't end up with a huge chunk of Facebook. A deal's a deal, and this guy was in the right place at the right time, and if he did indeed provide a thousand bucks or perhaps more, and especially if they had a deal around that, well the guy absolutely 100% deserves his fair share.

What about my shares? (2)

aepurniet (995777) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801290)

Does this mean that my Goldman issued Facebook shares are only worth half as much as they were? If a swindler issues shares for a company run by a swindler, doesn't that make them legit? Where's the SEC when you need them?

email != contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801328)

Is an email as good as a contract in the US? It's certainly not here.

Maybe a dumb question, but (2)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801382)

"If the emails are proven legitimate..."

How does that actually work? What's involved in the process of proving the legitimacy of an email? What's the standard of evidence? Can any nerd here answer how the legitimacy of emails gets validated?

Re:Maybe a dumb question, but (2)

JesusFreke (1216908) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801600)

They examine the shadows of the ones and zeros that make up the email. In some cases, you can notice discrepancies in the shadows that can only be explained if the bits were forged.

Re:Maybe a dumb question, but (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35801676)

You would need server logs from the email servers that carried the messages, which are unlikely to be available, unless the subpeona could uncover copies of the messages on Zuckerberg's system (highly unlikely, especially not with all of the previous discovery in the other lawsuits, they'd have already have been exposed). You'd need logs from more than five years ago, which would be well beyond most data retention policies.

email contract (1)

leachlife4 (638543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35801660)

Since when is something said in an email legally binding, especially in the corporate world?
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