Facebook, Zuckerberg Say Ownership Suit a "Fraud"

Facebook Inc and its founder Mark Zuckerberg urged a court to throw out a lawsuit by a New York man claiming a 50 percent ownership stake in the social networking website, calling the lawsuit "a brazen and outrageous fraud."

In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, Facebook and Zuckerberg called the plaintiff Paul Ceglia "an inveterate scam artist whose misconduct extends across decades and borders."

Ceglia had contended in an amended complaint filed on April 11 that he and Zuckerberg, then a student at Harvard University, had entered a contract giving him ownership of 50 percent of Zuckerberg's interest in Facebook.

A lawyer for Ceglia declined immediate comment.