Paul Ceglia, a man who was arrested in 2012 for fraud relating to claims he owned 50% of Facebook, has disappeared from his home, Bloomberg reports.
He 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.
Federal marshals entered Ceglia’s home in Wellsville, New York on Sunday, after an officer had been unable to contact him. According to Bloomberg, marshals found the tracking bracelet hanging from the ceiling, attached to the device they believe Ceglia built.
“The purpose of the contraption appeared to be to keep the bracelet in motion using a stick connected to a motor that would rotate or swing the bracelet,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Wilson said in court filings, according to Bloomberg.
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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