Paul Ceglia – who was once alleged to have forged a contract to claim ownership of half of Facebook – has gone missing ahead of a planned fraud trial.
His lawyer, Robert Ross Fogg, told Bloomberg that Ceglia had disappeared from his home and left behind an electronic tracking device that the suspect had been ordered to wear on his ankle.
The trial isn't expected to start until 4 May. It was delayed by six months last year, after Ceglia requested more time to go over the case with his new lawyer.
Fogg was quoted as saying on Monday: "I don't know where he is, I haven't got a clue."
Ceglia, a New York-based firewood salesman, previously alleged he had had email exchanges with Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg, where the two men discussed the terms of a 2003 contract and also talked about early development of the site, originally dubbed "The Face Book".
He later claimed to be entitled to ownership of half of the free content ad network.
Facebook repeatedly dismissed the complaints and labelled Ceglia a "scam artist".
His civil suit was eventually tossed out by a magistrate judge in 2013, who concluded that the contract in question was a "recently created fabrication". The feds then slapped Ceglia with postal and wire fraud charges. ®