Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg smelled something fishy when New York state resident Paul Ceglia filed a lawsuit last month, claiming Zuckerberg owed him 84% of the company.
Ceglia produced a 2003 contract showing that Zuckerberg had hired him to design a social networking site that would later become Facebook in exchange for an ownership percentage. That contract is a complete fabrication, according to Facebook.
“Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that Ceglia’s claims are absurd and we strongly suspect the contract is forged,” said Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes in an email to reporters. “We have not seen the original – no one has, including the court.”
In an ABC television interview, Zuckerberg said he was “quite sure” that he did not sign the contract.
Facebook pointed to a date discrepancy: Thefacebook.com, Facebook’s original domain name was not registered until January 2004.
SharesPost, a web site for trading shares of private companies estimated Facebook’s total value at about $11.5 billion.