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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Facebook Saga Continues: Winklevii Twins Want More Money from Mark Zuckerberg

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 2:04 PM

click to enlarge The Winklevii twins won't take no for an answer
  • The Winklevii twins won't take no for an answer

Last week, a judge told Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the notorious twins who accused Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of ripping off their plans for a social networking site similar to Facebook, to get over it. The court panel ruled that it was time for this saga to come to an end.

But the Winklevosses won't take no for an answer. Being the entitled twins that they are, the brothers on Monday filed a petition for an en banc hearing in San Francisco. In short, the twins say the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is letting Zuckerberg get away with defrauding them.

The drama between Zuckerberg and his former Harvard classmates has captivated viewers all the way to the big screen, where it was depicted in The Social Network.

At first, the twins accused him of stealing their plans for a social networking site called ConnectU. The Winklevosses sued Zuckerberg, which ended in a settlement; they would get some cash and a tiny piece of Facebook.

When the preppy rowers later found out that Facebook was valued at $50 billion, they took Zuckerberg back to court, accusing him of duping them into signing an agreement that did not accurately value their share. They tried to back out of the original settlement and demanded $100 million from Facebook.
But the Ninth Circuit ruled against them last week, saying the brothers had failed to prove Zuckerberg committed securities fraud. The Winklevii had been "bested" by Zuckerberg, not defrauded.

"For whatever reason, they now want to back out," Chief Alex Kozinski said last week. "Like the District Court, we see no basis for allowing them to do so. At some point, litigation must come to an end -- that point has been reached."

In the petition for a rehearing, which was filed in San Francisco on Monday, the Winklevosses argued that the court's decision counters state and federal precedent so much so that it could have "dreadful ramifications," according to the lawsuit.

"The opinion's implication that the appellants [the Winklevii] should ... stop complaining about Facebook's blatant violation of Rule 10b-5 inappropriately minimizes federal securities laws that command honest dealing and full disclosure in the sale or exchange of securities," the twins argue.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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