Update: If you want to understand how deep the fraud runs, make sure to watch the 60 second video below with the US environmentalists caught on tape plotting their fraud.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan said today that the second-largest U.S. oil company provided enough evidence that a 2011 judgment on behalf of rain forest dwellers in the country’s Lago Agrio area was secured by bribing a judge and ghostwriting court documents. Kaplan oversaw a seven-week nonjury trial over Chevron’s allegations.
“The decision in the Lago Agrio case was obtained by corrupt means,” Kaplan said in an opinion that gave Chevron a sweeping victory. “The defendants here may not be allowed to benefit from that in any way.”
Chevron, based in San Ramon, California, was ordered to pay $19 billion to a group of farmers and fishermen by the Ecuadorean court. The award was reduced to $9.5 billion on Nov. 12 by the Ecuadorean National Court of Justice, the nation’s highest tribunal. That's almost half of its 2013 profit.
The Ecuadorean villagers, and activists working on their behalf, argued the oil producer should be held financially responsible for pollution of the Amazon rainforest by Texaco Inc. from the 1960s through the early 1990s. Chevron, which bought Texaco in 2001, claims the company already paid $40 million to clean up its share of the drilling contamination....
In its racketeering case before Kaplan, Chevron alleged that a U.S. lawyer leading the Ecuadoreans, Steven Donziger, and members of his team engaged in “repeated acts of fraud, bribery, money laundering” and obstruction of justice in pursuit of a multibillion-dollar payout.
I don't think there is any doubt that Chevron owed the Ecuadorans some clean up, since even they have agreed to doing work there. And it is not unreasonable to be skeptical that Chevron's actions were perhaps incomplete. But the $19 billion judgement always has smelled, particularly when the judge in the Ecuadoran case publicly admitted he had been bribed.
There was deep corruption in this case from the start, corruption that never will be adequately covered in the media because it "was for a good cause." Similar levels of corruption by Chevron would have led the front page of the New York Times for weeks.
As a reminder, let me quote from an earlier story. Please watch the short video, it is amazing:
The clip below is an outtake from the environmentalist movie "Crude", which purported to document the environmentalist's case against Chevron in Ecuador. Apparently, between takes of earnest and un-selfinterested environmentalists saving the world from greedy corporations, these self-same environmentalists discussed lying about the science and duping the courts in order to score a big payday for themselves.
The video is doubly interesting because, as Anthony Watts explains, the woman in the video taking money to make up untrue findings was recently confirmed to the NAS, where there is a good bet that we will see her as the source for "evidence" that fracking is contaminating groundwater. These three folks are all the subject of a civil suit from Chevron but all three should be subject to criminal charges for fraud and conspiracy.
Several of the environmentalists involved, including Dr. Ann Maest, have since recanted their corruption, sort of. They claim they were "misled" in this New York Times story, but the clip above certainly belies that. Donziger did not mislead her, he is seen convincing her that in Ecuador they can get away with lying. All for a good cause, of course.
Dispatches from the echo chamber: Mother Jones was on this story full force for years. Then suddenly stopped reporting at all when it became clear that allegations of fraud were credible. Check out the articles.
Update: More here