It’s been nearly a month since Paul Ceglia, a man who was arrested in 2012 for for fraud relating to claims he owned 50% of Facebook, disappeared from his Wellsville, New York home.
Federal marshals have now put a $US5,000 bounty on Ceglia’s head, according to Bloomberg.
The reward will go to anyone with “information leading to the location and arrest” of Ceglia.
Federal marshals now believe Ceglia was in Corning, New York on March 6, the day he disappeared. He was allegedly meeting someone to buy a car.
Ceglia had been ordered to wear an electronic tracking bracelet after being accused of using doctored contracts in a “multi-billion-dollar scheme” to defraud Facebook. According to prosecutors, Ceglia escaped house arrest by creating a “hand-made contraption” that made it seem like he was still wearing the bracelet in his home.
Ceglia’s wife, two sons, and the family dog are also missing. Federal officials have speculated that the family could be in Ireland, since Ceglia has relatives there and he has lived there before.
Last week, a judge ruled that Ceglia’s parents and brother will be responsible for his $US250,000 bail if he does not return.
Ceglia sued Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook in 2010, claiming that he and Zuckerberg had signed a contract in 2003 that promised Ceglia half of a social networking site that did not yet exist. Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard at the time.
A federal judge dismissed Ceglia’s case last year, saying the contract he used as evidence was a “fabrication,” as were other emails Ceglia claimed to have exchanged with Zuckerberg. Ceglia was arrested in 2012 for fraud.
His trial was set to begin May 4. Zuckerberg himself would have been called to testify at trial. If convicted, Ceglia could spend up to 40 years in prison, according to CNN Money.