Paul Ceglia has long insisted he's entitled to 50 percent of Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook empire. He filed a lawsuit against the social network's founder in 2010, claiming that a 2003 contract between the two granted Ceglia control over half of Zuckerberg's stake. Facebook has vehemently denied the allegations from the start; last year it produced a large sampling of evidence from forensic experts that called Ceglia's veracity into question. The company's lawyers painted him as "a career criminal and scam artist." And now a federal judge may have delivered the death blow to Ceglia's case.

In a court filing, Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio today recommended that Facebook's motion to dismiss the lawsuit be granted, pointing to "clear and convincing evidence" that the alleged document between Ceglia and Zuckerberg is a "recently created fabrication." Ceglia was arrested last year after an investigation found he tampered with court-submitted evidence, though both sides acknowledge Zuckerberg did perform some contracted work for StreetFax, a company Ceglia once ran. Throughout the long-running court battle, Ceglia has moved through a revolving list of attorneys after previous lawyers sought to withdraw from the case. With today's recommendation, Ceglia's hopes of raking in billions from the Facebook CEO seem all but shattered.