It would appear that the strange journey of Paul Ceglia — the wood pellet salesman from upstate New York who claims that Mark Zuckerberg owes him a 50% stake of Facebook — has reached an unfittingly boring end.
And what a ride it’s been: We’ve seen everything from Facebook calling Mr. Ceglia (who reportedly has a history of fraud) an “inveterate scam artist,” to lawyers specializing in marijuana brought in as prosecution, to a linguistics expert who inadvertently taught us how to write like Zuck himself.
But now, Facebook is on the verge of asking a federal judge for a dismissal of the entire lawsuit.
So how’d we get here?
Well, in a court filing on Monday, it appears that “an authentic contract” that was “found embedded in electronic data on Mr. Ceglia’s computer” made no mention whatsoever of Facebook, merely a company called Street Fax that Mr. Ceglia reportedly owned.
According to Reuters, Mr. Ceglia’s lawsuit alleges an agreement was made in 2003 that if he hired Zuckerberg to work with him on Street Fax (a currently non-existent dot-com), Zuck would give him a one-half ownership stake in a project that eventually turned into the 750-million strong social network.
Facebook has been estimated to be worth as much as $100 billion by analysts, with Mark Zuckerberg estimated to be worth $13.5 billion alone.
And so it appears that the weirdest, most unintentionally hilarious lawsuit in quite some time is about to reach its non-dramatic conclusion. Unless, of course, Mr. Ceglia decides to go all Winklevoss on Zuck, which would also be hilarious.