Gibraltar Supreme Court rules against PR firm accused of ‘faudulent activities’ against Chevron Oil

May 28, 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 attempting to profit from a potential judgment by Ecuadorian communities against Chevron Oil.

The court awarded Chevron $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 any way. 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 Ecuadorian judgment.

The judgment is applicable only in the jurisdiction of Gibraltar.

The Frente de Defensa de la Amazonia was established in 2012 by Steven Donziger, the lead American lawyer in case against Chevron. 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 developed a public relations campaign against Chevron that the company claims intends to extort a settlement from the company.

The ruling is the latest in a series of setbacks for Donziger and his team, which has been unsuccessful so far 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 Front 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 judgment.

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