When we last heard about self-proclaimed Facebook co-owner Paul Ceglia, he had evaded federal monitoring by cutting off his electronic ankle bracelet in March 2015.
Ceglia’s whereabouts are still unknown, but he resurfaced earlier this month via four emails to Bloomberg, in which he said he and his family are alive and well, and he fled because he feared for his life.
Ceglia said in his emails to Bloomberg that he and his family are alive and well, quoting the theme song from late 1970s and early 1980s TV show WKRP in Cincinnati at one point and saying he was “living in the air in Cincinnati.” He wrote:
Everyone including our dog is happy and in good health. It has been a difficult and scary year for Iasia and I, but faith in God has seen us through and a determination to get justice has inspired me to keep going.
Ceglia wrote that he applied for asylum in a foreign country he did not specify, adding that he has a “regular job” and hopes to begin buying and selling houses soon in an effort to increase his income.
As for his reasons for fleeing, Ceglia wrote that he did so due to a “very credible” threat that he would be arrested on new charges, jailed and killed before the trial, adding that the new trial would have exposed the involvement of In-Q-Tel, the venture-capital arm of the CIA, in Facebook. He added:
I felt I had no one in government I could trust. An opportunity presented itself, so I MacGyver’d (another 1980s TV reference) some things together and started running for my life.
Some of your readers may surely think my lawsuit against Facebook was bogus, but if they consider themselves Americans, then they should defend to the death my right under the Constitution of the United States to have a jury.
For those not familiar with the bizarre story of Ceglia and his ill-fated lawsuit against Facebook and its co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, a timeline follows:
- June 2010: Ceglia files suit against Facebook and Zuckerberg, claiming that he owns 84 percent of Facebook.
- June 2011: DLA Piper drops Ceglia as a client.
- August 2011: Ceglia and his family “relocate” to Galway, Ireland.
- November 2011: U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York Judge Leslie Foschio ordered Ceglia to return from Ireland.
- February 2012: Facebook forensic experts discovered that Ceglia had concealed several email addresses during the trial proceedings, including email@example.com.
- March 2012: Milberg joined Ceglia’s legal team.
- May 2012: Milberg, Peter Skivington and Robert Calihan formally withdrew from the case.
- June 2012: Foschio dismissed five motions filed by Ceglia, granting one filed by Facebook, and gave Ceglia 10 days to persuade him why further sanctions should not be assessed for trying to delay the legal proceedings.
- August 2012: Foschio ordered Ceglia to produce what is being referred to as the “Kasowitz letter” within three days. The Kasowitz letter refers to a letter from one of the nine law firms to quit the Ceglia case, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, to two other firms that eventually bailed, as well—DLA Piper and Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman—warning them that Ceglia’s alleged contract with Zuckerberg was a fraud.
- October 2012: U.S. postal inspectors arrested Ceglia at his home in Wellsville, N.Y., charging him with falsifying records and destroying evidence.
- November 2012: Foschio allowed Facebook to present a forensics report concluding that the contract between Ceglia and Zuckerberg that purportedly awards Ceglia part ownership in the social network was altered.
- November 2012: Ceglia pleads not guilty to mail fraud and wire fraud, after being indicted one day earlier.
- November 2012: Foschio ordered Ceglia to reimburse Facebook for almost $90,000 in attorney fees.
- March 2013: Dean Boland’s request to withdraw as Ceglia’s lawyer is denied by a U.S. District Court judge.
- March 2013: Foschio recommended the dismissal of Ceglia’s lawsuit.
- April 2013: Joseph Alioto of California becomes Ceglia’s ninth attorney.
- November 2013: James Charles Kopp, an inmate at Cannan Federal Penitentiary, who was convicted in 2003 of murdering abortion doctor Barnett Slepian in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1998, fingered Ceglia as the trigger man in Slepian’s murder.
- March 2014: U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. rejected Ceglia’s bid to dismiss mail fraud and wire fraud charges against him for submitting fake evidence and emails and destroying real evidence in his lawsuit against Facebook and Zuckerberg.
- March 2014: U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara ruled to grant Facebook’s motion to dismiss Ceglia’s lawsuit.
- October 2014: Facebook files suit against law firms that represented Ceglia: Ceglia’s original lawyer, Paul Argentieri, as well as lawyers from DLA Piper, Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman and Milberg.
- March 2015: Representatives from the U.S. Marshals Service entered Ceglia’s home to find that Ceglia had cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and attached it to a “hand-made contraption” that simulated movement, as well as a timer attached to the bracelet’s charger.
- April 2015: The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Ceglia’s attempt to revive his civil lawsuit.
- December 2015: The New York State Appellate Division in Manhattan dismissed Facebook’s malicious prosecution lawsuit against DLA Piper, Milberg and Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman, all of which represented Ceglia.
Despite all of the events outlined above, one of Ceglia’s current lawyers, Robert Ross Fogg, told Bloomberg that Ceglia’s case against Facebook and Zuckerberg was going well before he disappeared, saying:
It is truly a relief to know that Paul and his family are alive, safe and in comparably good health. I am comforted to know that his disappearance was of his own volition.
To win this case, I need him home.
Readers: How do you think this six-years-and-running saga will finally end up playing out?