The role of convicted killer James Kopp in the Facebook ownership case, true or untrue, is taking on yet another strange twist.
A new letter, this one from an individual also claiming to be Kopp, who is serving a life sentence for the assassination of Dr. Barnett A. Slepian in 1998, now claims the initial letter to the court was a fake.
“It has come to my attention someone is impersonating me,” the writer said in a letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio.
The original letter, which is believed to have come from the Canaan Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania, where Kopp is imprisoned, claims that Kopp and Ceglia, the Allegany County man who claims to own part of Facebook, have been pen pals for the past four years.
The letter also outlines a series of claims and allegations about Ceglia.
The new letter, which was filed with the court by a lawyer for Facebook, also is signed by an individual claiming to be Kopp.
“I have sent no motion to the court,” the new writer states. “Anyone claiming same is impersonating me.”
While no one in the court or federal prison systems can verify the authenticity of either letter, lawyers in the Facebook case have been forced to treat them in a serious fashion.
Orin Snyder, the lead attorney for Facebook and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, filed court papers Monday opposing the initial letter writer’s request to intervene in the case.
“It is unclear in light of the Kopp’s sworn statement that the motion was actually filed by Kopp,” Snyder said in his statement to the court.
Kopp, the anti-abortion activist known as “Atomic Dog,” was convicted in 2007 in Slepian’s assassination nearly nine years earlier. He was convicted of murder in Erie County Court and sentenced to 25 years to life.
Ceglia’s civil suit against Facebook, in which he seeks at least 50 percent of the social networking giant, is based on his contention that he and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg signed a contract in 2003.
Facebook acknowledges that Zuckerberg signed a contract with Ceglia while Zuckerberg was a student at Harvard University but contends that it had nothing to do with Facebook.
Ceglia’s case against Facebook took a new turn two weeks ago when he was charged in Manhattan federal court with orchestrating a “multibillion-dollar scheme” to defraud the company,