Paul Ceglia, the Wellsville man wanted in Facebook fraud case, found in South America
WELLSVILLE, N.Y. (WENY) – The Allegany County man who fled to escape charges saying he faked a contract with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is in custody in Ecuador, according to Bloomberg.
Paul Ceglia, 45, has been missing along with his wife, two sons and dog since March 2015. Then, U.S. Marshals forced their way into his Wellsville home and discovered he'd cut off an ankle bracelet and attached it to a ceiling-mounted, motorized device he rigged to hide his escape.
Then, he was awaiting trail on fraud charges in New York. A federal judge in Buffalo had already thrown out his claim to half of Facebook, ruling he forged a contract and fabricated emails between him and Zuckerberg in 2003. Ceglia, who denied wrongdoing, was criminally charged in 2012.
Bloomberg reports Ceglia was arrested Wednesday night by U.S. Marshals and Ecuadorian Police, according to sources. Officers reportedly identified his wife, Iasia, then followed her home in order to make the arrest.
Ceglia's lawyer, Robert Ross Fogg, said he hasn't heard from his client or law enforcement officials about the arrest.
Ceglia will be moved to Ecuadorian capital Quito for an extradition hearing; according to a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals, he is not currently in American custody.
Marshals had been offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to Ceglia's arrest.
Ceglia surfaced briefly in a series of emails to a Bloomberg reporter in August 2016. Ceglia said he was alive and well, “living on the air in Cincinnati” -- a reference to the television comedy “WKRP in Cincinnati” -- and didn’t disclose his location.“I felt I had no one in government I could trust,” Ceglia wrote in one email, before using a reference to a second tv series. “An opportunity presented itself, so I MacGyver’d some things together and started running for my life.”
Information from www.bloomberg.com