Judge Freezes Facebook Assets Over Ownership Lawsuit

07.14.10 | FL News Team

(New York, NY)  --  A judge has temporarily frozen Facebook's assets after a New York man sued, claiming he owns 84-percent of the company.  The "Wall Street Journal" reports that Paul Ceglia filed his lawsuit in an upstate New York court on June 30th.  In the filings, which are posted online, Ceglia claims he hired Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in April 2003 to develop a website called The Face Book.  

The contract, full of misspellings, allegedly offered Zuckerberg a thousand dollars, but demanded 50-percent ownership.  If the site wasn't completed by January 1st, 2004, then Ceglia was supposed to get an additional one-percent stake for each day it was late.  According to the court filings, the website wasn't completed until February 4th that year, or 34 days late.  

The judge hearing the case has issued a restraining order that prevents Facebook from selling or transferring any assets until the case can be heard.  Facebook's attorneys call the lawsuit "frivolous" and want the case moved to federal court.  The "Journal" article says Ceglia was previously accused of fraud by New York's attorney general.  Allegations filed against Ceglia in 2009 accuse him of cheating customers of his wood-pellet fuel company out of more than 200-thousand dollars.