The self proclaimed cofounder of Facebook who says he owns half of the company is on the run from the government and seeking asylum in an undisclosed country because he thinks government agents are trying to kill him.
Paul Ceglia, 43, disappeared while on house arrest in March, 2015, after he was convicted of altering documents, and now recent emails obtained by Bloomberg show he thinks government agents were trying to kill him.
“I felt I had no one in government I could trust. An opportunity presented itself, so I MacGyver’d some things together and started running for my life.”
He’s been on the run for more than a year, and now the emails show he’s far from American soil in a foreign country,
Ceglia made headlines in 2010 when he claimed to have evidence Mark Zuckerberg owed him half of Facebook; the lawsuit says they agreed to split the company 50-50.
In 2012, he wound up being convicted of altering documents to bolster his claim. When police entered his New York home they found him gone; his ankle bracelet was attached to a machine that made it appear Ceglia was walking around his house.
Then, Ceglia emailed Bloomberg this week saying he and his family were living in a foreign country because he was afraid of being arrested on new charges, jailed and then killed by government agents.
In the new emails, Ceglia says his fraud trial might have revealed involvement by the CIA’s venture capital firm, In-Q-Tel in Facebook.
The CIA venture capital firm, In-Q-Tel, has a history of investing in tech startups and many of the companies have gone on to be a success like Keyhole, the company that pioneered Google Earth. Ceglia said the connection to the government could get him killed.
His emails, with the subject line “Paul from Wellsville” assure his family and friends that all is well and Ceglia is “living on the air in Cincinnati,” a line from the WKRP in Cincinnati theme song, according to Bloomberg.
“It is truly a relief to know that Paul and his family are alive, safe and in comparably good health. I am comforted to know that his disappearance was of his own volition [and not the result of foul play.]”
Even stranger, Robert Ross Fogg, one of Ceglia’s lawyers in the criminal case, said his lawsuit against Zuckerberg was going well and a judge said there was probable cause to proceed, according to Bloomberg.
“To win this case, I need him home.”
Ceglia says Zuckerberg got the idea for Facebook from him and his now-defunct website Streetfax.com, which he hired Zuckerberg to write code for in 2003.
Ceglia says Zuckerberg was working on a project while attending Harvard University called The Face Book that was powered by the same search engine and algorithms he used in Streetfax.com.
Zuckerberg denies the whole thing saying he didn’t think of Facebook till much later, and so the two went to court to fight it out with lawyers, but in 2013, a federal judge threw the case out saying Ceglia had created fake documents. He was charged, arrested and prosecuted for fraud, which he says is illegal because he was basically prosecuted for filing a lawsuit.
Then, Ceglia says he found proof of a clear and imminent threat to his life from government agents and he was forced to flee the country.
Now, he’s says he’s living in an undisclosed foreign country and has applied for asylum hoping to live out his days away from the U.S., according to Bloomberg.
“Everyone including our dog is happy and in good health. It has been a difficult and scary year for Iasia and I but faith in God has seen us through and a determination to get justice has inspired me to keep going.”
He’s still wanted by the U.S. Marshals and the government is offering a $5,000 reward for his arrest.
What do you think of the self proclaimed Facebook founder’s claim that the government wants to kill him?
[Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]