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Paul Ceglia Arrested and Charged With Fraud Over Facebook Ownership Claims 109

Posted by Soulskill
from the know-when-to-fold-'em dept.
whoever57 writes "The man who claimed ownership of 50% of Facebook has been arrested and charged with fraud in connection with his claims. The United States attorney in Manhattan said, '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.' 'Dressing up a fraud as a lawsuit does not immunize you from prosecution.'"
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Paul Ceglia Arrested and Charged With Fraud Over Facebook Ownership Claims

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  • thumbs up (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @04:39PM (#41782655)

    Mark Zuckerberg liked this.

  • Unfortunately. (Score:2, Insightful)

    We won't be able to have a good conversation about this because most people only know the history of facebook from the "The Social Network" perspective which has been thoroughly refuted.
    • by Alomex (148003)

      "The Social Network" perspective which has been thoroughly refuted.

      [citation needed]

      In fact, the movie was thoroughly vetted by lawyers from Columbia Pictures, so I seriously doubt this would ever be the case in any substantive way.

      • by Alomex (148003)

        Further to that, since /. doesn't have an edit button:

        From IMDB:

        Much of the film is based on testimony given at a number of depositions related to the lawsuits brought by Eduardo Saverin, the Winklevoss twins, and Divya Narendra. To this extent, the film might be considered very accurate. However, as the character Mark points out in the film, people do lie in depositions. [However if those lies are proven you could be charged with perjury]

        Both Eduardo Saverin and the Winklevoss twins claim the film is very accurate while Zuckerberg and Parker maintain that it is a work of fiction.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          It's called preview, use it.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Typical *nix f**ktard. The software is flawed and rather than fixing it blame the user.

            I guess Edit functionality is just too advanced for you.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        In fact, the movie was thoroughly vetted by lawyers from Columbia Pictures, so I seriously doubt this would ever be the case in any substantive way.

        Oh, I'm sure they vetted it to be sure that nothing could come back on them ... but I suspect there's a lot of rainbows and kittens in there they let slide by which don't quite match up to reality .

        Making sure they can't get sued for libel or defamation in no way ensures that it's entirely factual. I don't doubt that a few things got tarted up or made to look b

        • by Alomex (148003)

          Oh, I'm sure they vetted it to be sure that nothing could come back on them ...

          Correct, which is why the movie goes to great pains to emphasize that the story is as told in depositions. They are not claiming that's what happened, they are claiming that is what was said in the depositions, which is entirely factual.

          but I suspect there's a lot of rainbows and kittens in there they let slide by which don't quite match up to reality .

          To the contrary, given that they are dealing with people with ample access to

    • There were details that were certainly wrong, but in general it got the larger details right, or reasonably so. And anyone familiar with Facebook's history knows Ceglia was a lying nobody trying to extort money by being such a big pain in the ass that he would just be handed a big check to shut the fuck up. Now, it appears, he's about to find out what happens when you commit fraud.

    • Well from the outside it looked highly suspicious. Ceglia didn't sue until 2010 when Facebook started in 2003. He claimed he only recently "found" the contract. He went through a lot of lawyers during the course of the suit.
  • Moral (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CimmerianX (2478270)
    Don't try to defraud a company that works hand in hand with law enforcement to track and search people's patterns. Stick with defauding investors by selling bad mortgage instruments and nearly destroying the world economy. No one ever goes to jail for that, they just get a bailout.
  • O rly? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ilsaloving (1534307) on Friday October 26, 2012 @04:42PM (#41782701)

    "Dressing up a fraud as a lawsuit does not immunize you from prosecution"

    Then please explain patent trolls to me?

    • Re:O rly? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by masternerdguy (2468142) on Friday October 26, 2012 @04:44PM (#41782733)
      Patent trolls acquire obscure or forgotten patents that actually exist. Those trolls OWN the patent to "a cylinder shaped electrolytic capacitor" or something stupid like that and sue people for infringement. Patent trolls abuse the patent system but they don't commit fraud.
      • by Skapare (16644)

        Oh, but it is fraud when there is a claim that it is innovation when in fact it is not. The court system just looks the other way.

        • by chill (34294)

          No, that would be the USPTO looking the other way. Different branch of the gov't entirely.

        • Oh, but it is fraud when there is a claim that it is innovation when in fact it is not. The court system just looks the other way.

          They don't claim anything of the sort (at least not in court). They just claim to own a valid patent (which they do) and that the defendant's product is infringing on it (which may or may not be true). Is it unethical? Sure! Is it fraud, no--not in the same sense that this is at least.

          • by DM9290 (797337)

            Is it unethical? Sure!

            Calling a corporation unethical makes as much sense as deliberately injecting ebola virus, and then calling the virus unethical. It is the entire corporatist system which is unethical. every legal market niche where there is money to be made will be occupied by some corporation. The patent system is simply being used for exactly what it was set up to do - enrich patent owners.

    • by ddxexex (1664191)

      "Dressing up a fraud as a lawsuit does not immunize you from prosecution"

      Then please explain patent trolls to me?

      Well, Manhattan isn't in a certain part of Texas...

    • In that situation the government is participating in the fraud, by granting the patent in the first place, which means it's ok. :) I say this tongue in cheek, and also, this problem might end with the patent office/court, but begins with wealthy "inventors" who have sought to bribe legislators into creating the system of "intellectual"*
      "property"** that we have today.

      * last time I checked rounded corners don't require much intellect
      ** using property as a metaphor for ideas is intellectually dishonest

      • by cez (539085)
        I will be patenting the "Steal ideas and designs from Star Trek and patent them business process" mwhuahahahaha... HA!
    • Then please explain patent trolls to me?

      Patent trolling isn't fraud. Unless the troll really doesn't own the rights to the patents . . . oops, what about SCO . . . ?

      Patent trolling is more like a Mafia style shakedown. So it should be prosecuted using RICO laws, in my opinion.

    • The short version is that patent trolls to something that's amoral and harmful to business and consumers....but it's legal. That's the difference. You can't prosecute someone for doing something legal, but morally repugnant. You can refuse to patronize their business, of course, but being patent trolls they don't actually make anything or have any customers. They have only victims.

  • The main who claimed ownership of 50%...

    How did nobody notice that doesn't say man?

  • Where is the header information in these so-called emails?

    Without that information (which is verifiable once you have it), I could write any crap and say it's an email from the Pope and you would absolutely have to treat it with the same evidential weight as you would this.

    • Additionally, it is trivial to forge email headers. There are only two ways to verify email headers: matching them up with the headers of emails at the other end of the correspondence or by comparing them to server logs, neither of which is likely to exist any longer. With or without header information, the email cannot be verified at this point anyway.
      • What's non-trivial is forging a message UID* and matching it to a known existing message UID* on the server and making sure the message is identical. Because *that* *will* still exist on the server (you think "deleting" a message from the server scrubs it from existence??)

        *It's called a *U*ID for a reason - the string is *unique*, never to be used again once issued. If that UID doesn't appear on the database attached to a message then it wasn't issued.

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