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Man claiming half ownership of Facebook is now a fugitive

Man claiming half ownership of Facebook is now a fugitive

Paul D. Ceglia was arrested in 2012 for allegedly defrauding Facebook

Paul D. Ceglia, who was arrested in 2012 for defrauding Facebook on the claim that he owns half the company, is now a fugitive.

Judge Vernon S. Broderick revoked Ceglia's bail on Tuesday after Ceglia failed to appear for a pretrial conference on the same day, according to a filing in the southern district of New York.

Ceglia cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet some time around last Friday and left home in violation of the conditions of his bail, court papers said. By doing so, he forfeited a $250,000 personal bond.

An attorney for Ceglia did not respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Facebook declined to comment.

Ceglia claimed in a 2010 lawsuit that he was entitled to half ownership of Facebook under a 2003 contract with Mark Zuckerberg, who had done programming work for Ceglia's StreetFax.com.

In 2012, Ceglia was arrested by federal agents for allegedly defrauding Zuckerberg and for fabricating evidence to support his claim of ownership. Ceglia then appealed a 2014 ruling that dismissed his Facebook ownership claim. A trial has been set for May.

Attorneys for Zuckerberg and Ceglia have until March 20 to file a joint letter providing an update on the status of the case.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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