Judge: Businessman charged in Facebook fraud case has apparently fled, circumvented monitor

Associated Press

A judge says a New York man has apparently fled rather than face charges that he fraudulently claimed an ownership stake in Facebook.

Manhattan federal court Judge Vernon S. Broderick revoked bail Tuesday for Paul Ceglia (SEHG'-lee-uh).

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Prosecutors say the Wellsville businessman dropped out of touch with his pretrial services officer and was no longer home. The judge says he apparently circumvented his electronic ankle monitoring bracelet.

Broderick questioned lawyers about their last communications with him. He also questioned whether Ceglia's effort to alter his $250,000 bail conditions in September may have been part of a carefully planned effort to flee.

Prosecutors say Ceglia doctored a contract he signed with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2003 to make it seem he was part owner of the Menlo Park, California, company.