Man Claiming 50% of Facebook Provides Apparent Evidence

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With the Winklevoss twins temporarily vanquished in their quest to back out of the settlement deal they made with Facebook in the interest of going after more money, a new claimant to the social network’s riches has emerged. Or reemerged, rather.

Paul Ceglia filed a lawsuit last summer claiming that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had agreed to give him 50% ownership of the social network in exchange for an early investment of $2,000 back in 2003.

Ceglia’s checkered past—he’s been convicted of fraud—and his inability to show "a payment trail for payments made to fund the development of ‘the face book,’" according to Business Insider, apparently made his case too weak to pursue at the time.

However, Ceglia has now re-filed the case with what he claims to be new evidence of e-mails exchanged between himself and Mark Zuckerberg. If the messages are legitimate, they indeed portray an agreement between Zuckerberg and Ceglia to split ownership of Facebook 50-50.

There’s also talk of Zuckerberg "stalling" some "upperclassmen that are planning to launch a site very similar" to Facebook (the Winkelvosses?).

Facebook has said Ceglia’s newly-provided e-mails are fake, calling him a "scam artist" and "convicted felon," according to Business Insider. The company has said it’s "confident in [its] assessment." That’s a far cry from the standard "no comment" one would typically expect in a matter like this.

Ceglia has hired high-powered law firm DLA Piper to represent him, and apparently they’ve done their due diligence to supposedly confirm "that Ceglia’s claims were valid."

You can check out the long, thorough chain of supposed e-mails on Business Insider. If the evidence has been faked, as Facebook claims, the whole ordeal shouldn’t be much of an issue. If the e-mails are real, though, Ceglia may be in line for almost $10 billion. That’s before even considering what he may or may not do with his half of the company after that.

More on TIME.com:

Harvard Twins Lose Appeal to Quash Facebook Settlement

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