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Facebook lawyer says Ceglia hid more emails; 'getzuck' account among four sought

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg's attorneys have again accused Wellsville native Paul Ceglia of concealing information.

But Ceglia's attorney insisted that Facebook's legal team is focusing too much on "minutia" and not the crux of Ceglia's federal lawsuit -- that Ceglia has a valid contract that entitles him to half ownership of the social-media colossus.

In federal court papers filed late Tuesday, lead Facebook attorney Orin Snyder claimed Ceglia has been playing "hide the ball" by failing to disclose information pertaining to the case.

Four previously unreported Ceglia email accounts, including one with a "getzuck" handle, have come to light. So have the identities of previously unknown legal representatives and an associate who may have helped Ceglia create a portfolio to shop the Facebook lawsuit to prospective litigators.

Facebook's attorneys now want the court to subpoena the four email accounts -- a request Ceglia has consented to -- and to force Ceglia to prove he deserves attorney-client privilege on 11 documents he tried to protect.

"Ceglia is perpetrating a massive litigation fraud," Snyder wrote in Tuesday's motion. Facebook's investigators have "uncovered substantial evidence confirming that fraud. Ceglia's ongoing noncompliance, however, is intended to deny [Zuckerberg and Facebook] additional corroborating evidence."

The motion came five days after U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio ordered Ceglia to pay $75,766 of Facebook's legal fees plus a $5,000 fine for failure to comply with a previous court order to produce personal email information.

Ceglia's lead attorney, Dean Boland of Lakewood, Ohio, considered Snyder's motion little more than bluster.

Boland said that he was the one who informed Facebook's attorneys of the four unreported email addresses and that he had told them last week he would address other concerns this week.

Snyder "made a self-appointed deadline, and we didn't meet it," he said. "There's no 'hide the ball' here. They're just trying to make it look that way.

"They're down to minutia and want to spend their time arguing about whether a document was in a particular format they expected it to be in rather than the meat of the case: Their experts haven't been able to produce any evidence that contradicts our experts, who say the contract is authentic."

Ceglia claims to have signed a contract with Zuckerberg in 2003, when Facebook was in the idea stage, to seed the fledgling company in exchange for half ownership.

Zuckerberg admits that when he was a student at Harvard he signed a contract with Ceglia -- but not for Facebook. They met through a Craigslist ad Ceglia placed seeking development help for a mapping database called StreetFax.

Zuckerberg has insisted any Facebook documents that include Ceglia are forgeries.

Boland expressed eagerness to move the case forward and, eventually, to trial. He said the next part of the pretrial discovery process could allow for a deposition of Zuckerberg, access to Zuckerberg's computers since 2003 and a review of records from the sealed 2008 settlement between Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who attended Harvard with Zuckerberg, accepted a reported $65 million settlement over their assertion that Zuckerberg stole their idea when he started Facebook. The case was the basis of the motion picture "The Social Network."

The next hearing in Ceglia's case is scheduled for March 28.

email: tgraham@buffnews.com