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8 Aug 2016

Daniel Fisher, Forbes (USA)

Appeals Court Upholds Sanctions Against Donziger Over $9.5 Billion Chevron Judgment

A federal appeals court in New York left intact crippling sanctions against attorney Steven Donziger ordering him to turn over to Chevron any proceeds from a $9.5 billion judgment he won in an Ecuadorean court in a process tainted by evidence of fraud and corruption.  The Second Circuit Court of Appeals...found Donziger and his team had secretly written the judgment and offered an Ecuadorean judge $500,000 to sign it.  As punishment, Kaplan issued an injunction against Donziger and two Ecuadorean co-defendants prohibiting them from attempting to enforce the judgment in any U.S. court and creating a constructive trust for Chevron’s benefit to hold any proceeds they obtain elsewhere in the world...Chevron sued Donziger under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, using a trove of evidence...to show how he’d orchestrated a scheme to construct evidence implicating Texaco/Chevron and hide the liability of Ecuador’s state-owned PetroEcuador...Evidence in the case revealed Donziger had a strong financial incentive to pin all the blame on Chevron: He had a secret agreement with the Ecuadorean oil company to repay any part of a judgment Chevron later recovered from PetroEcuador...