April 13, 2011, 12:51 PM — It's been written elsewhere that the amended complaint filed by the guy who claims Mark Zuckerberg screwed him out of his ownership stake in Facebook is a fascinating read.
And indeed it is. If you have plenty of time, you can check it out here.
But if you're too busy, I've assembled some highlights below from the complaint filed Monday in a U.S. District Court in western New York by Paul Ceglia, who first made a claim to half-ownership of the hugely successful social networking company last year.
(Also see: In defense of the Winklevoss twins)
All excerpts are allegedly from emails between Zuckerberg and Celia in 2003 and 2004. If these emails are authentic (along with the signed original contract Celia claims to have), Facebook lawyers are in for a tough case (assuming it doesn't go to settlement).
Quick background: Ceglia hires Zuckerberg via craigslist to do some coding for a site of his called StreetFax.com. Zuckerberg mentions that he's working on a interactive Harvard University student site called thefacebook.com and gets Ceglia to invest $1,000. They sign a contract in last April 2003. The agreement calls for the Harvard site to launch on Jan. 1, 2004. (Ceglia's complaint says by then he had given Zuck another $1,000.). It doesn't. But on the day of the expected launch Zuckerberg emails Ceglia and asks him to waive a penalty clause that gives Ceglia 1% more equity in The Face Book for every day the site fails to go live after Jan. 1.
Ceglia rebuffs the request and, five days later, emails Zuckerberg. He is angry.
It is well past January 1st and to my knowledge you don’t have a single thing done for the site, (sic) I gave you an extra $lk in November so we could rush it ahead of these other guys [Editor's note: presumably the Winklevosses, whom Zuckerberg had urgently warned Ceglia about in November, when he was hitting him up for more money] and as far as I know you don’t even have a domain name or a home page built, let alone the actual database. For now I suggest you use my search engine and we work out the details. I’m starting to think you just blew that money Mark. You know perfectly well that you can’t just take a persons (sic) investment and then spend it on women and beer or whatever you do up there in Harvard. I’ve been stalled long enough on this thing and if I don’t see something soon (sic) I’ll have no choice but to contact the school and perhaps your parents in Dobbs Ferry and let them know whats (sic) been going on.
The threat to tell on him to mommy and daddy bothers Zuck, who replies on Jan.