Facebook has alleged that the contract entitling a New York web designer to an 84 per cent stake in the company is a fake, technology news website Information Week has reported.
The company has said that they believe Mark Zuckerberg’s signature, which allegedly appears on the document, is a forgery.
In statement issued by Facebook, the company said: “Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear that Ceglia's claims are absurd and we strongly suspect the contract is forged. However, we have not seen the original - no one has, including the court.”
Andrew Noyes, spokesman for Facebook, said that stakes in the company could not have been sold or contracted at the time in question because Mark Zuckerberg had not thought of the idea of the company, and that even if the contract had been signed, then any rights under the contract would have already expired.
Paul Ceglia has claimed that Zuckerberg had signed a contract offering him an 84 per cent stake in the company, as part of a business arrangement between the two at the time.
Zuckerberg had started the platform for schools and colleges in 2004 after registering the domain.
The website itself was launched in 2005 after its URL was purchased for $200,000.