Forensic Expert Discovers Elaborate Forgery of Plaintiffs’ Signatures Authorizing 2003 Complaint Against Chevron in Ecuador
Forgery and fraud have tainted Ecuadorian lawsuit from inception; company seeks nullification and dismissal of Lago Agrio lawsuit.SAN RAMON, Calif., Dec. 20, 2010 - Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) today submitted expert analysis from a leading forensic specialist demonstrating that many of the signatures on the document purporting to authorize the lawsuit against Chevron in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, were forged. According to Chevron's filing, this newly uncovered evidence of forgery and fraud makes clear that the lawsuit has been tainted with corruption from the very beginning and must be terminated.
Internationally renowned forensic document examiner Gus R. Lesnevich has determined that at least 20 of the 48 signatures on the document that purported to ratify the 2003 complaint and appoint Ecuadorian lawyer Alberto Wray as plaintiffs' counsel were faked. Lesnevich, who is in the process of analyzing other key documents in the case, discovered the forgeries by comparing the signatures on the document with known copies of the plaintiffs' signatures from their national identification cards. He also conducted an indentation analysis of the court document using an electrostatic detection device, which revealed the paper bore indentations "consistent with someone practicing the writing of a signature before actually simulating the signature."
Examples of forged signatures
The forensic analysis was filed today in the Provincial Court of Sucumbios along with a motion calling on Judge Nicolas Zambrano to declare the lawsuit "null and void" as required by Ecuadorian law. The company also asked the judge to forward the matter to Ecuador's Prosecutor General's Office for criminal investigation.
"The Ecuadorian authorities cannot continue to ignore the mounting evidence of fraud in the Lago Agrio litigation without violating their duties under the Ecuadorian constitution and international law," stated R. Hewitt Pate, Chevron vice president and general counsel. "We intend to seek full redress against the harm that has been done in the name of the Ecuadorian plaintiffs and to hold accountable all of those who have knowingly participated in this unlawful scheme."
The forensic expert's analysis and Chevron's motion to nullify the Ecuadorian lawsuit can be accessed at http://scr.bi/faTsoS.
The forgery of the plaintiffs' signatures is only the most recently discovered fraud on the part of plaintiffs' lawyers and their cohorts in both the United States and Ecuador. Through a series of discovery actions filed in U.S. federal courts, Chevron in recent months has uncovered overwhelming evidence, including video "outtakes" from the film Crude, of blatant misconduct on the part of plaintiffs' counsel, including:
- The submission of fraudulent expert reports purportedly written and signed by Charles W. Calmbacher, Ph.D, a U.S. biologist and industrial hygienist, who later testified in a court-ordered deposition that the reports submitted by plaintiffs' counsel to the Lago Agrio court in his name were done so without his knowledge or consent, and contradicted his scientific conclusions that he had seen no evidence of any risk to human health at any site remediated by Texaco Petroleum Company;
- Improper, secret collusion between plaintiffs' counsel and paid consultants and the Lago Agrio court's supposedly neutral "Global Expert," Richard Stalin Cabrera Vega, to create the $27.3 billion damages report that Cabrera fraudulently presented to the Lago Agrio court as his own;
- Fabrication of scientific evidence of supposed environmental contamination by plaintiffs' paid consultants and experts; and
- Intimidation, threats and political pressure directed at Ecuadorian judicial officers and government officials designed to secure a judgment in favor of plaintiffs despite a lack of any legitimate scientific evidence supporting their claims.