Facebook Claimant Ceglia Loses Extradition Challenge in Ecuador

(Bloomberg) -- Paul Ceglia may be a step closer to facing U.S. charges that he faked a 2003 contract with Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg that he used to claim he’s entitled to half ownership of the social network.

Ceglia, 45, lost a challenge to a U.S. request seeking his extradition to face mail fraud and wire fraud charges in New York, his Ecuadorian lawyer, Roberto Calderon, said in an interview Monday. Ceglia’s been confined to a jail in Quito, the capital of the South American country, since his arrest Aug. 23.

Ecuador’s Corte Nacional de Justicia ruled that the nation’s extradition treaty with the U.S. covers wire fraud, Calderon said. It also rejected Ceglia’s claim that he wasn’t given a hearing within 24 hours of his arrest as required by law. The court agreed with Ceglia that mail fraud isn’t covered. Calderon said Ceglia is appealing the decision.

Ceglia was arrested in the coastal resort town of Salinas, Ecuador, more than three years after he cut off an electronic ankle bracelet and fled his home in western New York with his wife and two boys in tow. The family now has a third son, less than a year old, born in Ecuador.

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