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War of Words in Ecuador

Chevron has been involved in a long, mammoth legal battle in Ecuador involving allegations of environmental contamination at oil fields in the Amazon. Much has been written about the case, which began over 15 years ago and mega money is at issue.

Both sides and their supporters have been pro-active in making their respective positions known (see here and here).

This long, messy battle now includes an FCPA component.

Last week, Chevron went on the offensive offering up what it said is videotaped evidence of a bribery scheme connected to the $27 billion case, including evidence implicating the presiding judge in the matter. (See here, here and here). A few days later, Ecuador’s Attorney General (Washington Pesantez) requested that the judge step aside, which he did (see here).

Yesterday, AG Pesantez went on the offensive calling on U.S. authorities to investigate Chevron for potential FCPA violations (see here and here)

Chevron is no stranger to FCPA scrutiny. In 2007, it agreed to pay $30 million in combined fines and penalties to settle enforcement actions relating to its procurement of Iraqi oil under the United Nations Oil for Food Program (see here and here).

This long, messy legal battle is getting more murky by the day.

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