SAN RAMON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 25, 2018--
The Supreme Court of Gibraltar has issued a judgment against Pablo
Fajardo, Luis Yanza, Ermel Chavez, Frente de Defensa de la Amazonia (the
“Front”) and Servicios Fromboliere for their role in a conspiracy to
procure and attempt to enforce a fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment against
Chevron. The court awarded Chevron Corporation$38 million in damages
and interest and issued a permanent injunction against the defendants,
preventing them from assisting or supporting the case against Chevron in
Fajardo, Yanza and Chavez are Directors at Amazonia Recovery Ltd.
(“Amazonia”), a Gibraltar-based company set up to receive and distribute
funds that the co-conspirators hoped to obtain from the corrupt
Ecuadorian judgment. The company was established in 2012 by Steven
Donziger, the lead American lawyer behind the fraud, and his associates.
Donziger and Fajardo, an Ecuadorian lawyer, were found by a U.S. Federal
Court to have engaged in extortion, money laundering, wire fraud,
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, witness tampering and
obstruction of justice. The Front, which has long been involved in
peddling a dishonest public relations campaign against Chevron aimed at
extorting a settlement from the company, and Servicios Fromboliere, an
Ecuadorian law firm established by Fajardo, are both shareholders in
Amazonia and part of the extensive web of obscure entities established
by the participants in the fraud against Chevron to attempt to hide
their misconduct and profit from it.
Today’s ruling is the latest in a series of setbacks for Donziger and
his team, which has been unsuccessful in its attempts to enforce the
Ecuadorian judgment across a variety of jurisdictions.
“In issuing this decision, the Supreme Court is holding the perpetrators
of this fraudulent enterprise accountable for their actions,” said R.
Hewitt Pate, Chevron’s vice president and general counsel. “In
courtrooms around the world, this fraudulent scheme against Chevron
Corporation continues to implode.”
This latest judgment against Donziger’s associates and their supporting
organizations follows a December 2015 ruling against Amazonia itself, in
which the Supreme Court of Gibraltar awarded Chevron$28 million in
damages and issued a permanent injunction against Amazonia preventing it
from assisting or supporting the case against Chevron Corporation in any
way. Chevron claims against Amazonia asserted that the company is a
vehicle to perpetuate the ongoing fraud scheme against Chevron, with the
express purposes to procure funding for the scheme, fund the plaintiffs’
conspiracy, issue shares of the company to lawyers, advisors and
funders, and receive and distribute proceeds from the corrupt Ecuadorian
In 2015, Chevron filed similar claims in Gibraltar against Fajardo,
Yanza and Chavez, and later, in 2017, successfully joined the Front and
Servicios Fromboliere to the proceedings as additional defendants.
Despite orders from the court, and their status as directors and
shareholders in the Gibraltar company, the defendants failed to
acknowledge service of court documents or participate in the
proceedings. As a result, the court issued a default judgment against
the defendants, awarding Chevron$38 million. The award was based on
legal fees and other costs incurred by Chevron to uncover and combat the
conspiracy. The Gibraltar court also issued a permanent injunction
prohibiting the defendants from further participation in the scheme and
ordered the defendants to reimburse Chevron for any future expenses it
incurs defending itself against the fraud.
In addition to these developments in Gibraltar, efforts to enforce the
fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment have now been rejected in Argentina,
Brazil, Canada and the United States.
In the United States, in March 2014 Judge Lewis Kaplan of the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that the
Ecuadorian judgment was the product of fraud and racketeering activity,
finding it unenforceable in the United States and holding Donziger
liable for RICO violations. In his opinion, Judge Kaplan described
Amazonia as a “Gibraltar company…through which the property collected on
the judgment is to be funneled.”
In Brazil, in 2015 the Federal Prosecutor's Office issued a
recommendation to the country's Superior Court of Justice that the
judgment not be recognized for enforcement, finding that it was "issued
irregularly, especially under uncontested acts of corruption" and that
recognizing it would violate Brazilian and "international public order."
The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice subsequently unanimously
rejected attempts to enforce the judgment in November 2017. On May 16,
2018 the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice rejected attempts by the
plaintiffs to limit the scope of its decision through a motion to
Similarly, in 2016 Argentina's public prosecutor's office recommended
that its National Court reject the effort to recognize the Ecuadorian
judgment in that country. The National Court No. 61 in Buenos Aires
dismissed the recognition action on October 31, 2017. An appeal is now
In Canada, in January 2017 a court ruled that the Ecuadorian judgment
could not be enforced against Chevron Canada Limited, an indirect
subsidiary of Chevron. That decision was upheld on appeal in on May 23,
2018 by the Ontario Court of Appeals.
Since the extent of Donziger and his team’s fraud scheme was revealed,
more than a dozen former insiders and allies have abandoned the effort,
including Donziger’s former co-counsel, environmental consultants,
funders, investors, employees and Ecuadorian collaborators.
Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading integrated energy
companies. Through its subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide, the
company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry.
Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas;
refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants;
manufactures and sells petrochemicals and additives; generates power;
and develops and deploys technologies that enhance business value in
every aspect of the company's operations. Chevron is based in San Ramon,
Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180525005733/en/
Source: Chevron Corporation
Sean Comey, +1 925-842-5509