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Facebook: Ceglia's e-mail, contract are 'fabrications'

The social network asks the court to dismiss Paul Ceglia's lawsuit claiming he owns half of Facebook, calling it a "fraud and a lie" after examining Ceglia's documents.

Facebook has uncovered 200 allegedly forged e-mails that it says should be enough to throw out a case brought against it by Paul Ceglia.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which obtained court documents, Facebook's lawyers accessed Harvard University servers and recovered 200 e-mails between co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and Ceglia. The attorneys then compared those e-mails to those Ceglia furnished.

The e-mails Ceglia furnished are "fabrications and this entire lawsuit is a fraud and a lie," Facebook attorneys wrote to the court, according to the Journal.

Ceglia brought the case against Facebook and Zuckerberg in 2010, alleging that he and the Facebook co-founder had entered into a contract in 2003 to design and develop a site that would ultimately become Facebook. That contract, Ceglia argues, entitles him to 50 percent ownership in the social network.

On numerous occasions last year, Ceglia was ordered by a federal court judge to furnish e-mails with Zuckerberg. Each time, he balked. His attorney at the time, Jeffrey Lake, made it clear he played no part in rebuffing the court's order.

"I informed Mr. Ceglia that the court had ordered him to produce, among other things, accounts and passwords for all email accounts he had used since 2003," Lake said in a declaration filed with the court. "Mr. Ceglia instructed me not to comply with this provision and to bring the issue before [U.S.] District Judge [Richard] Arcara."

Soon after, Lake withdrew from the case, becoming yet another attorney to drop Ceglia. Although he finally produced the e-mails to the court, Ceglia was fined $5,000 in January for showing "a plain lack of respect for the court's order, which cannot be countenanced."

In addition to e-mails, Facebook claimed in its motion that a contract Ceglia produced, showing that he is entitled to ownership in the social network, is also a forgery.

Facebook has asked the court to dismiss the case with Ceglia. The motion to dismiss comes just a month after federal Magistrate Leslie G. Foschio ordered Ceglia to pay nearly $76,000 to Facebook for attorneys' fees.

Neither Facebook nor Ceglia's attorney has immediately responded to CNET's request for comment on the motion.