Paul Ceglia, who once sued Mark Zuckerberg claiming half of Facebook, and who last appeared here back in Assorted Stupidity #39 after his ninth set of lawyers withdrew from that case, has disappeared. His case against Zuckerberg was, surprisingly, dismissed after the judge found it was based on fabricated evidence, and Ceglia was later charged with fraud. Ceglia denounced that move, indignantly pleading not guilty. "I have no interest in a plea deal of any sort," he told Ars Technica in August, facing a May trial date. "The very idea of it suggests that I have done something wrong. Of course I intend to go to trial," he said.
He seems to have changed his mind, or else he went on an unapproved vacation and forgot to take his electronic-monitoring bracelet along. Maybe he was just concerned about tan lines?
Ceglia had been released on $250,000 bond and was required to give up his passport, so most likely he has gone to ground somewhere in the United States. A federal marshal was unable to confirm that, though, telling a reporter that he did not know whether Ceglia was still in the country. "Our responsibility is to locate him," he told the reporter, which at first seemed like stating the obvious but now seems like a polite answer to what was probably a stupid question.
"I can confirm that the suspect has disappeared."
"Do you know whether he's still in the country?"
"We don't know where he is. That's what 'disappeared' means."
The judge presiding over the case said he was "cautiously optimistic" that Ceglia would return to the jurisdiction in the near future, though he didn't say why. Since Ceglia most likely is still in the U.S., because he doesn't have a passport and our borders are hermetically sealed, it probably is just a matter of time before he is recaptured. Although it could take a while if he were to do something especially sneaky like, let's say, get a job with the Homeland Security Department. That's the last place they'd look, or at least it used to be.