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Man accused of Facebook fraud released from prison in Ecuador

12 June 2019

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno has blocked the extradition to the United States of a New York man. He was charged with trying to defraud Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg, a document obtained by Reuters showed on Friday. Moreno wrote in the June 4 document that he was denying the extradition of Paul Ceglia, who spent nearly 3-1/2 years as a fugitive before being arrested in Ecuador last year, for humanitarian and reciprocity reasons. Ceglia claimed in a 2010 suit that Zuckerberg had signed a contract giving him half of a planned social networking website that later became Facebook.

A U.S. district judge dismissed Ceglia's lawsuit after another judge said the contract was doctored. Ceglia was criminally charged with mail and wire fraud in November 2012 and fled less than two months before his scheduled 2015 trial, removing his electronic ankle bracelet and disappearing with his wife, two children and a dog.