The man who sued Facebook in 2010 alleging an ownership stake in the multibillion-dollar darling of the Web is now in a heap of legal trouble, according to reports.
Paul Ceglia, 39, was arrested in New York on Friday by federal agents for wire and mail fraud, according to reports. Ceglia had produced documents that allege that he was promised a big ownership stake in Facebook as long ago as 2003, when Mark Zuckerberg was still working on Web sites in his Harvard dorm.
But those documents appear forged, according to police.
Ceglia filed his suit in 2010. He claimed that a 2003 contract promised him a stake in the company, according to Reuters.
Ceglia had hired Zuckerberg to do work in his company, StreetFax.com, the news source reported.
In March, Facebook's attorneys provided evidence that emails alleged to be from Zuckerberg, promising Ceglia a stake in Facebook, were phony, the news source reported. Ceglia had typed text into a Microsoft Word document and then declared it to be an email from Zuckerberg, the newspaper reported.
"Dressing up a fraud as a lawsuit does not immunize you from prosecution," said a New York prosecutor.