Fraud. Bribery. False allegations. Learn the facts behind the “legal fraud of the century.”

The fraudulent lawsuit against Chevron in Ecuador began over 20 years ago. A group of lawyers and activists concocted a plan to extort billions from Chevron. In 2011, an Ecuadorian court issued a judgement against Chevron for $19 billion, but evidence of rampant fraud and misconduct were revealed. In 2014, a U.S. Court found that the lawyers behind the case violated federal racketeering laws, committing mail and wire fraud, money laundering, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.


Ecuador’s State-Sponsored Activism Continues in the U.S.

June 29, 2015 • Chevron Ecuador Blog Post
Earlier this year, we documented how the government of Ecuador was waging a campaign of state-sponsored activism and judicial intimidation against both Chevron and an International Arbitration Tribunal that was considering denial of justice claims by Chevron against the Republic of Ecuador. The campaign, financed and organized by the government of Ecuador, included the bussing of hundreds of protestors to Washington DC in April to protest outside of the World Bank, where the tribunal was holding a hearing under the auspices of the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the United States and Ecuador. Read more>>

The Facts Behind The Environmental Claims Against Chevron in Ecuador

During more than 20 years of litigation, allegations have been made about impacts on people and the environment from the former Ecuadorian oil operations of Texaco Petroleum Company (Texpet). The allegations have been repeated for years by Ecuador’s government and the plaintiffs’ lawyers and their supporters in an effort to justify a fraudulent $9.5 billion Ecuadorian court judgment against Chevron. Extensive research into each of these alleged impacts has proven them to be false.

A group of lawyers and activists concocted a fraudulent scheme in an attempt to extort billions from Chevron.

Chevron is defending itself against false allegations that it is responsible for alleged environmental and social harms in the Amazon region of Ecuador. In February 2011, an $18 billion judgment—later reduced to $9.5 billion—was rendered against Chevron by a court in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, for alleged contamination resulting from crude oil production in the region.

But that judgment has now been proven to be a complete fraud.

In March 2014, a U.S. federal court ruled that the Ecuadorian judgment was the product of fraud and racketeering activity, finding it unenforceable.

The nearly 500-page ruling finds that Steven Donziger, the lead American lawyer behind the Ecuadorian lawsuit against the company, violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), committing extortion, money laundering, wire fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, witness tampering and obstruction of justice in obtaining the Ecuadorian judgment and in trying to cover up his and his associates’ crimes.

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“The wrongful actions of [Steven] Donziger and his Ecuadorian legal team would be offensive to the laws of any nation that aspires to the rule of law, including Ecuador – and they knew it.”

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 3/4/14

Bribing and threatening judges and court officials

Steven Donziger and the plaintiffs’ lawyers opened a secret account to give $100,000 in bribes and hush money to the supposedly independent court expert, promised a $500,000 bribe to a judge to rule in their favor, and plotted to intimidate judges into handing down favorable rulings.

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Fabricating environmental evidence

The plaintiffs’ lawyers misled their environmental experts, misused these experts’ work and forged signatures. They forced the court, by threatening the judge with a sexual harassment complaint, to appoint an “independent” global damages expert, who would work covertly for them.

Ghostwriting the judgment and colluding with the Ecuadorian government

The plaintiffs’ lawyers wrote the judgment against Chevron themselves, and colluded with the Government of Ecuador to advance the case.

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Read more about the fraudulent case against Chevron in Ecuador »

  Fraud by the Numbers

Learn more about the fraudulent lawsuit against Chevron.

Enforcement and Legal Proceedings, Arbitration Update

Chevron does not believe that the Ecuador ruling, which has now been proven to be fraudulent by a U.S. court, is enforceable in any court that observes the rule of law. The company will continue to seek to hold accountable the perpetrators of this fraud. Read the latest updates about proceedings around the world.

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Caught on Tape

In the more than 500 hours of outtakes from the movie Crude produced, the plaintiffs’ lawyers and representatives were caught, amongst other things, planning to organize an “army” to pressure, intimidate, and humiliate Judges in Ecuador. Plaintiffs’ representatives even go as far as to discuss the possibility of a judge being killed if he ruled in favor of Texaco.

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Chevron Press Releases

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RICO Trial

Chevron brought a civil lawsuit against the lawyers behind the Ecuador case under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to hold them accountable for committing fraud, extortion and other misconduct. In March 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that the $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron in Ecuador was the product of fraud and racketeering activity, finding it unenforceable.

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