WNYT.com

NY businessman pleads not guilty to fraud charge

Updated at: 11/28/2012 7:35 PM
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(AP) NEW YORK - A New York man arrested on criminal fraud charges after he claimed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had years ago promised him half ownership in the company has pleaded not guilty.

Paul Ceglia entered the plea Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan. Ceglia remains free on bail two days after an indictment was returned.

His lawyer, David Patton, said the Wellsville, N.Y., businessman will ask that a trial on fraud charges be moved outside of New York. Ceglia was arrested in late October on mail and fraud charges.

The government says Ceglia doctored a software development contract he signed with Zuckerberg in 2003 to make it appear Ceglia would receive half ownership in Facebook in exchange for $1,000 in startup money for the budding company.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)