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Man who tries to defraud Facebook ordered to pay $100,000

The man trying to make money off Facebook’s success was ordered by a federal court to pay $100,000 to the social network. The amount covers legal fees and travel expenses of Facebook’s lawyers.

A federal judge decided to let Paul Ceglia, an upstate New York resident, pay the said amount after he cancelled 10 planned depositions in July and August without reasonable prior notice, and after Facebook had paid its lawyers. Seven depositions were cancelled  with less than 48 hours notice while three were scrapped with less than 24 hours left.

The order was a punishment for Ceglia. He will pay $89,000 in legal and expert fees as well as about $7,000 for related travel expenses.

Ceglia accused Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of not fulfilling their agreement to create a website similar to Facebook, and to split the company. Zuckerberg and Facebook strongly denied Ceglia’s claims.

Last month, Ceglia’s reputation suffered big time following his arrests by federal agents on charges of running a “multi-billion-dollar scheme” in an atteempt to defraud Facebook. The charges filed by the federal government may result to his imprisonment of up to 40 years if convicted.

The federal government’s accusation is similar to the stance of Facebook. It complains that Ceglia “doctored, fabricated, and destroyed evidence to support his false claim”.

The complaint also showed that Ceglia altered a contract and invented emails that did not exist.

A federal jury indicted Ceglia on the said fraud charges and it is reported that his current lawyer, Dean Boland is filing a motion to cease as his counsel. Ceglia is fighting to keep him on the case though.

Several legal teams had already left Ceglia’s team in the past.  Boland’s withdrawal from the case will be decided by a judge.

source: cnn

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