Ecuador President Denies U.S. Extradition Request for Alleged Facebook Fraudster

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Friday, June 14, 2019
Bruce Zagaris

On June 7, 2019, Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno denied the extradition request by the United States of Paul Ceglia, who is charged in New York with attempt to defraud Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg. In November 2018, an Ecuadorean court authorized Ceglia’s extradition. His lawyer, Roberto Calderon, said he had appealed the extradition decision and Ceglia would remain jailed in Ecuador pending the appeal. According to Calderon, the extradition order only covered the wire fraud charge. Hence, Ceglia would not be able to be tried for mail fraud in the U.S. While Ceglia and his wife were in Ecuador, they had a third son, almost a year old at the time the Ecuadorean court authorized his extradition. In his asylum application, Ceglia cited his relationship to the baby, a citizen of the nation by birth. Ceglia’s lawyer claimed that Iasia Ceglia, who isn’t charged, could face charges of helping her husband flee if she returns to the U.S., potentially leaving the child without parents.