Dean Boland, the lawyer representing Paul Ceglia, an entrepreneur who filed a legal claim on a majority stake on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) requested the court to approve his motion to withdraw from the case.
Attorney Boland submitted to the court his personal reasons in pulling out of the case in a camera communication. In his motion, the lawyer wrote, “The undersigned feels it is important to emphasize in the strongest terms possible, that the reasons underlying this request, provided to the court for its review, have nothing to do with any belief by the undersigned that plaintiff is engaged in now or has been engaged in during the past, fraud regarding this case.”
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According to Boland, the lawyers who previously represented Ceglia and his current legal counsel, including himself did not encounter any evidence of fraud from their client. He pointed out they are aware of their legal responsibility to inform the court if they came across any evidence of fraud, including from their own client.
Last October 26, the U.S. Postal Inspectors arrested Ceglia for committing fraud and attempting to corrupt the legal system by manufacturing false evidence related to his civil lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). According to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, Ceglia’s conduct is “always intolerable.” Bharara pointed out, “Dressing up a fraud as a lawsuit does not immunize you from prosecution.”
The result of the forensic examination of the evidence in the case proved that Ceglia forged the first page of the contract between him and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s founder in April 2003, and attached it to the second page. Ceglia claimed that Zuckerberg signed an agreement to provide programming services for Streetfax.com, his online business. He also claimed that Zuckerberg promised him he would own at least a 50 percent stake in “The Face Book” or “The Page Book.” Authorities also found that Ceglia fabricated the e-mails between him and Zuckerberg.
Ceglia will enter a plea on the criminal case filed against him in the Federal District Court of Buffalo on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Orin Snyder, the lawyer representing Zuckerberg and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) said the social network giant plans to hold accountable all parties who helped Ceglia in his “outrageous fraud.”
In addition, Snyder said, “Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will send a strong message that it does not tolerate legal shakedowns, and will take aggressive action against all those who file abusive lawsuits against the company.”