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Judge To Ceglia: Return To U.S., Deliver Facebook Flash Drives

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A federal court in Buffalo issued an order this afternoon that confirms would-be Facebook owner Paul Ceglia must come back from Ireland to face the music over missing evidence. The tone of the order and the surrounding circumstances suggest the Ceglia saga may be nearing an end.

In his order (embedded below) which follows yesterday’s three-hour hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio wrote “Plaintiff shall return to the United States to conduct the Search.”

Ceglia, who claims he has a 2003 contract signed by Mark Zuckerbeg giving him control of Facebook, has been in Ireland since September. His departure came shortly after Facebook’s attorneys produced evidence that appeared to show the purported contract was a forgery. In his absence, Facebook has repeatedly pressed to obtain additional evidence and has sought court sanctions against Ceglia and his legal team.

The terms of the order set out a list of items, including six flash drives, that Ceglia must undertake to find in the next month. The judge also required Ceglia, who was sued by the state of New York in 2010 over a wood pellet scam, to provide a sworn declaration about the details of his search.

The terms of the order suggest the judge is out patience with Ceglia, who risks court sanctions if he does not comply with the instructions, or even perjury charges if he does not provide a true account of his search efforts. The order comes weeks after the same judge refused to let one of Ceglia’s lawyers remove himself from the case.

Over the course of a lawsuit, which has attracted international headlines, Ceglia has been through a revolving door of lawyers including an upscale New York firm to, more recently, a small town attorney who has been sanctioned for creating child pornography.

In the last week, Ceglia’s legal team has been attempting a legal and media push-back by suggesting that Zuckerberg and his team have conducted judicial misconduct and deleted emails in an effort to stymie the truth. Alison Frankel of Reuters (NYSE: TRI) today published an account of Ceglia’s newest lawyer’s attempt to go back on offense.

Overall, though it is hard not to regard the latest Ceglia allegations as one last Hail Mary pass. The judge’s order combined with a suspicious set of facts — including the efforts of Ceglia’s lawyers to ditch him and his failure to produce the contract — suggest that Ceglia is unlikely to leave the emerald isle anytime soon.

Ceglia Order
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2 Responses to “Judge To Ceglia: Return To U.S., Deliver Facebook Flash Drives”

  1. James Shea

    Does this now mean that all them stories being published about Ceglia “fleeing” the USA are fabrications? surely if he fled he wouldn’t come back straight away after a judge tells him, if he was “Fleeing” then why is he back in america so quickly.I think thiese stories of “fleeing were created to make it look like Ceglia was lying so fled to escape being prosecuted, which is just pure vfiction,, also about the evidence have you looked at his lawyers blog? it contains very strong evidence and statements from experts that agree Ceglias contract and emails are authentic. here is links check it out yourself…

    • Hey thanks for the links dude, I took a look and this guy Ceglia has a
      good case in my opinion. All I have seen in media is how this guy is a
      con artist and fled to Ireland because he was lying, but after looking
      at his lawyers site, their evidence is pretty strong especially the
      evidence presented by Jerry Grant, untill now i never seen grants
      evidence, which is remarkable because the media should be reporting
      this, this seems like a case of smear the small guy and favour the big
      business like facebook, bias on the part of the media in my opinion,. I