Judge tosses Facebook ownership claim

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iol scitech april 2 Facebook-Executive Compensation AP Ceglia claimed he and Zuckerberg signed a 2003 software development contract.

New York - A federal judge has officially closed the book on a New York man's multibillion-dollar lawsuit claiming half-ownership of Facebook.

Judge Richard Arcara has granted Facebook and founder Mark Zuckerberg's motion to dismiss Paul Ceglia's lawsuit.

Last week's ruling affirms a magistrate judge's recommendation from a year ago saying the lawsuit should be thrown out because the contract Ceglia based it on was faked.

Ceglia claimed he and Zuckerberg signed a 2003 software development contract that included a provision entitling him to half-ownership of Facebook in exchange for startup money for the budding company.

Facebook lawyers say the two had a contract but references to Facebook were slipped in for the lawsuit.

Ceglia awaits trial on related criminal fraud charges. He has pleaded not guilty. - Sapa-AP

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