Ecuador frees man wanted in US over Facebook scheme
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuador released a New York man Tuesday as it turned down an extradition request from the United States, where he was arrested after falsely claiming he was owed half-ownership of Facebook.
A lawyer for Paul Ceglia tweeted the judge’s order that the American be released and confirming that his extradition to the U.S. had been denied. Ceglia was greeted by his wife and son when he left jail.
In an apparent criticism of the United States, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno referred in a recently released letter to cases when the U.S. didn’t heed Ecuador’s own requests for the extradition of citizens who allegedly committed crimes.
Ceglia had claimed he gave Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg $1,000 in startup money. He was arrested on fraud charges in the United States in 2012, but later fled to Ecuador. He was arrested there last year.