Chevron Faces Fraud Charges In Ecuador Over Toxic Dumping In Amazon Rainforest
Embattled Chevron executive Ricardo Reis Veiga is to appear in Quito this week to defend the company against fraud charges filed by Ecuador’s top law enforcement agency as Chevron faces a widening circle of criminal and civil investigations in two countries over its environmental remediation in the Amazon rainforest. Ecuador’s Department of Justice recently accused Chevron in federal court in New York of deceiving Ecuador officials to secure a legal release after a $40 million environmental remediation by the company in the mid 1990s. If Ecuador prevails, Chevron could face a $6 billion clean-up tab – the estimated cost of a comprehensive remediation -- in addition to liability claimed by 30,000 citizens in the area for oil-related damages. The company is already the subject of an SEC investigation in the U.S. for hiding the potential Ecuador liability from shareholders. Chevron is also the target of a separate criminal probe on the fraud charges in Ecuador by the country’s Fiscal, or national prosecutor. Reis Veiga and Chevron’s legal agent in Ecuador, Rodrigo Perez Pallares, supervised and signed off on the remediation.