Ceglia included a two-page contract and emails between him and Zuckerberg as evidence of the agreement. Authorities now say, after a forensic examination of the evidence, that Ceglia simply falsified the first page of the contract and attached it to a second page containing both parties' signatures. The contract's date, April 28, 2003, also predates when Zuckerberg and other Facebook founders have said they conceived the idea for the site.
Authorities also say Ceglia fabricated the emails between the two.
"Ceglia's alleged conduct not only constitutes a massive fraud attempt, but also an attempted corruption of our legal system through the manufacture of false evidence. That is always intolerable. Dressing up a fraud as a lawsuit does not immunize you from prosecution," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, of the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.
Ceglia was running an online business called Streetfax.com in April 2003 when he entered into an agreement to pay Zuckerberg for programming work. Ceglia claimed that as part of the deal, Zuckerberg promised him at least 50 percent ownership over "The Face Book," which was also referred to as "The Page Book."