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Facebook Wins Another Round of Legal Battle Against Paul Cegelia

Social Networking site Facebook took another big victory in its legal battle against Paul Ceglia after a New York Federal judge allowed the lawyers of the plaintiff to present forensics reports that would further indict the respondent for the commission of perjury.

Ceglia was taken into custody on fraud charges filed by Facebook last week after asserting that he has 50 percent interest of the social networking giant.

In his 2010 lawsuit, Ceglia claimed that he hired Mark Zuckerberg through a Craigslist advertisement in 2003 to write code for a project called StreetFax.

He allegedly paid $1,000 Zuckerberg for the coding work and then invested $1,000 in the Face Book project, which developed into a billion dollar business.

Ceglia claimed his investment in Zuckerberg’s project allows him to acquire a 50 percent stake in the company.

On Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio denied the petition of Ceglia to exclude an expert witness report about the authenticity of some important documents, calling such request a ‘drastic remedy’ inappropriate in the court.

In a report prepared for Facebook by forensic document examiner and handwriting expert Gus Lesnevic, it clearly presented several differences between multiple versions of the purported contract.

Moreover, Lesnevich pinpointed 20 dissimilarities among the four images all discovered on page 1 of the purported contract. The forensic report further stated the typeface had been altered and the slant and slope of the letters were different from the genuine signature of the Facebook CEO.

According to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, Ceglia intentionally inserted a fake page into a contract signed by him and Zuckerberg to give the appearance that Zuckerberg promised Ceglia half of the company.

In addition, Ceglia allegedly manufactured fake e-mails that showed Zuckerberg making an offer to Ceglia and discussing details about the Face Book project.

Federal investigators already confiscated hard drives owned by Ceglia and discovered the original contract between Zuckerberg and Ceglia does not refer any dealing involving Facebook,” as stated by the Justice Department.

Via: CNET