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March 27, 2012updated 22 Aug 2016 12:57pm

Facebook releases Zuckerberg’s emails to fight lawsuit

Legal counsel for Facebook asked courts to dismiss a claim against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, by entrepreneur Paul Ceglia, who says he has rights to 50% of the social networking company.

By Tineka Smith


Zuckerberg was employed by Ceglia for a short time in 2003 to work on his website called Streetfax.

According to Ceglia’s lawsuit against Facebook, which he filed in 2010, Ceglia and Zuckerberg made an agreement in April of 2003. Ceglia claims the agreement involved him paying a $1,000 fee which entitled him to 50% of the website’s revenue, which was to become Facebook later.

When Ceglia originally filed the lawsuit in June of 2010 he claimed that Facebook owed him 84% of the company but later brought it down to 50%.

In defence of Ceglia’s claims, Facebook has released emails between Ceglia and Zuckerberg in 2004 as proof his claims are false.

The emails produced by Ceglia are not in email format but in a word document. Ceglia says that his emails were usually deleted by the service he used so he would copy all his emails into Word as a safety precaution.

The emails released by Facebook do not mention anything about investing in Facebook.

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Facebook’s legal counsel says that since the emails are not in their original format, it reflects "obvious fraud."

"Today’s motion proves what Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have emphatically stated all along: this case is a fraud," said Represenatives for Facebook,Gibson Dunn and Orin Synder, in a statement. "The motion asks the Court to dismiss this fraudulent lawsuit, and demonstrates that Ceglia has forged documents, destroyed evidence, and abused the judicial system in furtherance of his criminal scheme. Ceglia must be held accountable."

Facbook is moving to have the case thrown out referring to Ceglia as a "career criminal and hustler."

The lawsuit is the latest case that has hit Facebook since filing for its Initial Public Offering (IPO) of $5bn. The social networking site is currently fighting a legal battle with search engine Yahoo! who is suing Facebook over patent infringement.

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