The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York today ruled that the $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corporation in Ecuador was the product of fraud and racketeering, finding it unenforceable. In response, Chevron issued the following statement: “This ruling is a resounding victory for Chevron and our stockholders. It confirms that the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron is a fraud and the product of a criminal enterprise. Steven Donziger and his associates can now be held accountable and will not be allowed to profit from their illegal acts. Any court that respects the rule of law will find the Lago Agrio judgment to be illegitimate and unenforceable.” Chevron presented overwhelming evidence of fraud during the civil RICO trial that concluded in November 2013. Evidence of the Ecuadorian plaintiffs' and their agents’ fraud includes:
- A former Ecuadorian judge has admitted his role in orchestrating the fraudulent judgment against Chevron in exchange for a half-million-dollar bribe from Donziger and his associates.
- Stratus Consulting, the lead environmental consultant to the Ecuadorian plaintiffs' lawyers, provided sworn declarations (here and here), highlighting its and Donziger’s role in ghostwriting the reports of a purportedly “independent” Ecuadorian court expert and the lack of scientific merit to the plaintiffs' environmental claims.
- Another of the plaintiffs' lawyers' environmental consultants, Dr. Charles Calmbacher, has testified that plaintiffs falsified environmental evidence in Ecuador.
- Litigation funder Burford Capital has provided sworn testimony outlining the firm's knowledge of the plaintiffs' lawyers' misconduct, testifying that the proceeding is irredeemably tainted by fraud.