Zuckerberg to testify at N.Y. forgery trial - prosecutors

NEW YORK Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:08am IST

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers remarks in an onstage interview for the Atlantic Magazine in Washington, September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Files

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers remarks in an onstage interview for the Atlantic Magazine in Washington, September 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The government will call Mark Zuckerberg to testify against an upstate New York man accused of trying to cheat the billionaire founder of Facebook Inc (FB.O) out of half his stake in the social media company, a federal prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Zuckerberg is expected to be a key witness against Paul Ceglia, who is charged with forging a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg that purportedly entitled him to half of Facebook.

“It's a witness that the government 100 percent knows it will be calling at trial,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Frey said at a court hearing before U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter in New York federal court.

The trial is scheduled for Nov. 17.

The charges stem in part from a 2010 civil lawsuit Ceglia filed against Zuckerberg and Facebook in Buffalo, New York, claiming the two men signed a contract when Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard University that gave Ceglia half of a planned social networking website.

Zuckerberg had previously done some programming work for Ceglia’s company, StreetFax.com, and Facebook has said the only valid contract between them related to that company.

Prosecutors in Manhattan charged Ceglia in 2012 with forging documents as part of the Buffalo litigation, including the contract and email correspondence with Zuckerberg.

In March, a Buffalo federal judge dismissed Ceglia's lawsuit, finding the purported contract for an ownership stake in Facebook was doctored.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Carter denied a request from Ceglia’s lawyers to authorize warrants for Zuckerberg’s cell phones, email accounts and bank records at Facebook from 2003 to 2004 as overly broad.

He also rejected their bid for Zuckerberg’s Harvard email account and any possible disciplinary records against him for unauthorized use of the school’s computer system.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

FILED UNDER:

TECH WRAP

Reuters Showcase

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet board approves up to $243 mln share sale plan  Full Article 

Hostage Crisis

Hostage Crisis

Japan, Jordan working closely on fate of captive Japanese journalist  Full Article 

Vodafone Tax Issue

Vodafone Tax Issue

India's Vodafone decision eases tax worries for Shell, others  Full Article 

Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup

Batting holds key for team India in World Cup  Full Article 

Egypt Attack

Egypt Attack

Islamic State's Egypt wing claims attacks that killed 27 - official Twitter.  Full Article 

Afghanistan Violence

Afghanistan Violence

Three U.S. contractors killed in "insider attack" in Afghan capital.  Full Article 

Change Of Heart

Change Of Heart

Justin Bieber says dropping 'arrogant' and 'conceited' attitude  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage