Yesterday, Chevron moved for summary judgment in its RICO and fraud case against a group of Ecuadoran citizens (called the “LAPs” in the papers) and a New York lawyer who allegedly procured an $18 billion judgment against Chevron through fraud. (For more background, see prior posts here.) The motion includes a declaration from an Ecuadorian judge, Alberto Guerra, who says he facilitated a $500,000 bribe to the judge who entered the judgment, Nicolás Zambrano. Here is a sampling from Chevron’s brief:
This Court previously found, on a more limited record, that Defendants’ relationship with the supposedly “independent” Ecuadorian “Special Master,” Richard Stalin Cabrera Vega, was “tainted by fraud,” and that evidence showing overlap between the LAPs’ internal files and the wording of the judgment itself was “troublesome.” Dkt. 550 at 88, 91. While the Court concluded then that more was needed to meet the rigorous summary judgment standard, now there is so much more: more evidence from the LAPs’ internal files, more evidence of material overlap throughout the ghostwritten judgment, and now, the sworn testimony of an inside “whistleblower”—corroborated by contemporaneous documents and several others’ sworn accounts—revealing the truth that these Defendants bribed the judge in exchange for being able to write this fraudulent, multi-billion-dollar judgment in their own favor. Alberto Guerra testifies that he secretly ghostwrote Zambrano’s orders in the Chevron case (and other cases), and that the LAPs paid him $1,000 a month to draft favorable rulings for Zambrano to issue. St. 182, 186. After dispatching Guerra to try to shake down Chevron, only to be rejected, Zambrano cut a deal with the LAPs allowing them to draft the judgment, which Guerra then modestly edited, in exchange for a bribe of $500,000, to be paid out of the LAPs’ judgment proceeds. St. 188–94. Guerra’s own documents corroborate his account: his computer contains drafts of Zambrano court orders, including orders in the Chevron case; his bank records document LAP payments to him by a Selva Viva/LAP employee while he was ghostwriting orders for Zambrano; and his shipping records and calendar confirm regular exchanges with Zambrano. St. 197–203. And Guerra’s account is further corroborated by sworn statements from several other witnesses whom Guerra approached to solicit bribes on Zambrano’s behalf to fix the Lago Agrio judgment, including two contemporaneous declarations from Chevron’s Ecuadorian attorneys describing the failed bribery solicitations.1 St. 185. And internal LAP emails confirm Guerra was ghostwriting for the court and discuss, among other things, the need to pay “the puppeteer” to “move his puppet.” St. 204. Guerra’s testimony and corroborating evidence confirm what the extensive overlap between the LAPs’ internal files and the judgment already prove: that the LAPs corrupted the Ecuadorian court and wrote the $18 billion judgment against Chevron.