The US government has brought up fraud charges against a man who claimed to have a 50 percent ownership stake in Facebook.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) said that officials in its New York office have arrested Paul Ceglia on allegations of forging documents and misusing the US Postal Service.
According to the DoJ, Ceglia attempted to mislead officials when in 2011 he sued Mark Zuckerberg claiming that the Facebook founder had promised him an ownership stake in the company in 2003.
According to officials, Ceglia's supposed ownership contract was in fact a modification on a deal Zuckerberg had signed to write code for a different project with Ceglia. The DoJ claimed that Ceglia re-wrote part of the contract to replace his own business with Facebook.
Ceglia had originally claimed to own 84 percent of Facebook but later offered to settle for half of the company. A deal between the two parties was never reached and now the DoJ claims that Ceglia's actions were a misuse of the legal process.
"As alleged, by marching into federal court for a quick payday based on a blatant forgery, Paul Ceglia has bought himself another day in federal court for attempting a multi-billion dollar fraud against Facebook and its CEO," said US Attorney Preet Bharara.
"Ceglia's alleged conduct not only constitutes a massive fraud attempt, but also an attempted corruption of our legal system through the manufacture of false evidence."
Ceglia has previously faced legal action over allegations of fraud in another business venture.
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