Ecuadorian Plaintiffs End Fraudulent Litigation Against Chevron
A group of Ecuadorian plaintiffs whose litigation against Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) has been exposed as a fraud and bribery scheme by courts in the United States and elsewhere has ended its Canadian lawsuit against the company. Following dismissals of their claims in Argentina and Brazil, findings against them in the United States and Gibraltar, and a ruling in The Hague that the Republic of Ecuador’s failure to prevent the continuation of the fraudulent litigation scheme violated international law, the plaintiffs ended their only remaining lawsuit by dismissing the Canadian case.
The plaintiffs further agreed to pay costs to Chevron.
Chevron had recently moved to dismiss the Canadian suit on the grounds that its continuation would be an abuse of the country’s legal system, a waste of its judicial resources, and contrary to international law. The Ecuadorian plaintiffs and their counsel did not oppose Chevron’s motion to dismiss and instead consented to the unconditional and final dismissal of the lawsuit.
“Chevron is pleased that the promoters of the fraudulent scheme have apparently realized that no legitimate court would enforce the judgment that they purchased in Ecuador. Chevron will continue its efforts to hold the lawyers and investors behind this fraudulent scheme accountable,” said R. Hewitt Pate, Chevron’s vice president and general counsel.
Because Chevron never operated in Ecuador or had assets there, those seeking to profit from the corrupt Ecuadorian judgment have unsuccessfully attempted to enforce it in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada. Courts in Brazil and Argentina previously rejected enforcement attempts in those countries.
With all attempts to date to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment having been defeated by Chevron, the key remaining proceeding in connection with the dispute is Chevron’s arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador before an international tribunal in The Hague. The tribunal last August held that the Republic of Ecuador had violated its obligations under international law in issuing the corrupt $9.5 billion judgment. Chevron is currently seeking to recover from the Republic of Ecuador costs it has incurred to expose and defend against the fraud perpetrated against it.
Also pending are contempt proceedings brought by Chevron in federal court in New York against adjudicated racketeer and suspended lawyer Steven Donziger, who led the failed efforts to enforce the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment. Last year, Donziger was suspended from the practice of law after having been found by U.S. federal courts to have violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) by engaging in multiple acts of extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, witness tampering, bribery, and obstruction of justice to procure the Ecuadorian judgment. On May 23, 2019, Donziger was held in contempt of court for his breach of the RICO judgment, which prevented him from profiting from the fraud, by selling interests in the Ecuadorian judgment to investors and using a large portion of the proceeds on personal expenses. The court further ordered Donziger to transfer to Chevron profits traceable to the Ecuadorian judgment.
The Canadian decision is the latest in a string of judicial victories in Chevron’s worldwide defense against the Ecuadorian judgment. This past April, the Supreme Courts of two countries – Canada and the Netherlands – ruled in favor of Chevron in related proceedings. On April 4, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear an appeal of a decision that had dismissed all claims seeking to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment against an indirect subsidiary of Chevron in Canada. On April 12, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands rejected the Republic of Ecuador’s attempts to nullify decisions of the international tribunal in The Hague that ordered Ecuador to take all steps necessary to prevent enforcement of the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron anywhere in the world.
Source / More : Chevron
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