A man under house arrest for faking an ownership stake in Facebook is missing after rigging up an elaborate contraption to make it look like he was still in his home.
Paul Ceglia filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg using falsified emails and an edited contract that made it look like the Facebook founder screwed him over. After getting caught for fraud, Ceglia was awaiting his own legal ordeal. He faced up to 40 years in prison. And that’s when he decided to pull a magnificent Kevin McCallister by removing his home arrest bracelet and preparing a DIY contraption to give the appearance of human life in an empty house:
Marshals discovered a handmade contraption connected to the ceiling, from which Ceglia’s GPS bracelet was dangling, prosecutors wrote. Its purpose seemed to be to keep the bracelet in motion, using a stick connected to a rotating motor. A timer was connected to the bracelet’s charger, apparently to mimic the report that would have been sent if Ceglia had been present and had plugged the charger in.
The wording here is vague: It’s not clear if the “contraption” is some sort of ceiling fan or something even more mobile. Quite ingenious, although it lacks the je ne sais quoi of, say, a dancing Michael Jordan cutout.
Of course, it’s not actually impressive that this scammer rigged up a crappy version of something a fiction 10-year-old did better, and it’s especially not impressive that law enforcement was fooled by such a low-tech set-up. Like, did they think Ceglia was in his house constantly spinning around near the ceiling? Maybe it’s time we upgrade to tech Rube Goldberg couldn’t thwart. [Chicago Tribune]