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N.Y. Facebook plaintiff seeks halt to criminal case

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A New York man who was charged with fraud after filing a lawsuit claiming part ownership of Facebook wants a judge to stop the criminal case from moving forward.

Paul Ceglia of Wellsville says Friday he believes Facebook is behind the criminal charges to begin with. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook declined to respond.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged Ceglia last fall, saying he tried to swindle Facebook and founder Mark Zuckerberg out of part of the company by doctoring a 2003 contract. That contract is the basis of Ceglia’s 2010 civil suit.

Ceglia’s lawyer, Joseph Alioto, asked a judge in Buffalo Friday to suspend the criminal case until the civil action is over, arguing it’s interfering with the suit. The judge reserved decision.

A magistrate judge’s recommendation that the civil case should be dismissed is pending.