Paul Ceglia, a man who was arrested in 2012 for fraud charges relating to claims he owned 50% of Facebook, went missing from his Wellsville, New York home last week.
According to reports by Bloomberg, federal marshals found the tracking device he had been ordered to wear hanging from the ceiling in his home, attached to a device it seems Ceglia built himself.
U.S. marshals told Buffalo NBC affiliate WGRZ they are exploring several leads in their search for Cegli and his wife and two sons, who are also missing. Officials added that they may be in Ireland, as Ceglia has lived there before.
Ceglia’s wife Iasia has family in California. Her mother told CBS Los Angeles, “We think that he gave her the ultimatum, ‘You either come with us or you don’t see your kids.'”
Iasia’s family also added that though Ceglia’s passport had been revoked, they believe he could have made a new one and fled the country. They called him a “master manipulator.”
Iasia’s sister Brianna shared an update on Facebook.
Ceglia’s trial is set to begin in May. If convicted, he could spend up to 40 years in prison, according to CNN Money.
Ceglia sued Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook in 2010, claiming he and Zuckerberg had signed a contract in 2003 that promised Ceglia half of a future social networking site.
Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard at the time, and Facebook didn’t exist yet.
A federal judge dismissed Ceglia’s case last year, saying the contract he used as evidence had been doctored, as had other email correspondence Ceglia claimed to have had with Zuckerberg. Ceglia was arrested in 2012.
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