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Ceglia arrested, accused of scheme to defraud Facebook

A Western New York man charged in what authorities call a multi-billion-dollar scheme to defraud Facebook and its Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is being held temporarily in Buffalo.

Paul Ceglia appeared in federal court downtown Friday afternoon after being arrested at his home in Wellsville in the morning. Ceglia had spent more than a year in Ireland.

The criminal charges against Ceglia were filed in New York City.  Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Ceglia was seeking a "quick payday based on a blatant forgery.''

Prosecutors say Ceglia fabricated and destroyed evidence for a lawsuit that falsely claimed he had been promised a 50 percent share in Facebook. They say Zuckerberg agreed in 2003 to perform programming work for Ceglia and his fax business when he was a Harvard University student.

The defendant's father Carmen Ceglia told reporters afterward his son's arrest is 'a hatchet job."

"It's more bad publicity to try to make it look bad for Paul," Carmen said. "We'll take it in stride. We figure they're going to throw stuff at us."

Ceglia is being detained until Monday to give federal prosecutors there time to appeal the judge's decision to release him on bail.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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