Paul Ceglia, the upstate New York state man who says he owns 84% of Facebook, and his wife Iasia were arrested last year on four counts of grand larceny for failing to deliver wood pellets that their company had taken $200,000-worth of pre-orders for.Ceglia’s attorney said the Ceglias didn’t steal any money–they were just slow to deliver the wood pellets.
Paul and Iasia Ceglia are charged with 12 counts each of fourth-degree grand larceny and one count each of first-degree scheme to defraud. The Ceglias, owners of Allegany Pellets, LLC, allegedly defrauded customers out of at least $200,000. They allegedly took presale orders for wood pellets, but allegedly failed to deliver the product and allegedly were unable to refund anyone’s money, Amity-based state police have said.
Allegany County District Attorney Terrence M. Parker said calls have been coming in from customers in at least four states, if not more. He said he’s not sure how many people have called his office this week.
“Numerous other complainants are now coming forward,” Parker said. “If they contact us, we refer them to the state police.”…
Paul Argentieri, representing the Ceglias, said his clients have been cooperative with state police.
“They gave a total forthright recitation of their business plans. At this point in time, it’s our position that no crime was committed and that the business plan is going forward and that we’ll make every effort to provide the pellets or refund their money,” Argentieri said. “If the scheme to defraud was true, these people (the Ceglias) would have left the state with the money or gambled it or went on a European vacation. In this case, Mr. Ceglia have invested the money in machinery, labour, subcontractors for pellets.”
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