Readers of this column know well the story of disbarred, Harvard-educated attorney Steven Donziger. Donziger now faces sentencing for criminal contempt of court for his disobedience of multiple orders in the civil case of Chevron Corp. CVX -1.6% v. Donziger et al., 11 Civ. 691 (S.D.N.Y.) (2019). That case was perhaps the heaviest nail in the coffin of Donziger’s attempt to extract millions from Chevron Corp., following a fraudulent Ecuadorean court decision against the oil giant.
United States District Judge Kaplan, who presided over the 2019 case, had charged Donziger with six counts of criminal contempt, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 401(3), arising from his refusal to comply with three court orders in that case. The judge alleged that Donziger: 1) disobeyed a directive to provide, by the specified deadline of March 8, 2019, a sworn list of all his electronic devices, communication and messaging accounts; 2) that he failed to surrender these devices; 3) that he failed to surrender every passport issued to him by any country; 4) that he violated paragraph one of the RICO Judgment Protocol rendered against him by Judge Kaplan by refusing to assign to Chevron his contractual rights to fees due him under two retainers negotiated with Ecuadorean clients; and 5) that violated paragraph five of the RICO Judgment Protocol by continuing to assign and pledge future contingent fees in the fradulently obtained Ecuadorian Judgment in exchange for personal services rendered him.
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