Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Potential Witnesses Into Chevron Misconduct Possibly Being Paid Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars By The Oil Giant

One Living “Like A King” In Peru

A Chevron dirty trickster is apparently enjoying the good life on the beaches of Peru after unsuccessfully trying to derail the historic Ecuadorian lawsuit against the oil giant for oil contamination. His partner, another Chevron operative, has been on the Chevron payroll since June 2009, receiving $10,000 to $15,000 a month but doing no legitimate work for the company.

Sounds like a great deal for the two of them, who are both potential witnesses into Chevron’s misconduct in an Ecuadorian court, which recently awarded a group of Ecuadorians an $18 billion judgment against the company for massive oil contamination.

Providing anything of value or benefit to potential witnesses is certainly unethical and could be illegal, if found to influence testimony. But, that hasn’t stopped Chevron.

Chevron operative and drug felon Wayne Hansen, who along with Chevron contractor Diego Borja tried to bribe an Ecuadorian judge in 2009, recently wrote he is living “like a king” on $1,200 a month in a beach town in northern Peru, according to a subscribers-only Reuters story that highlighted an email from Hansen to a private investigative firm hired by the oil giant.

Reuters obtained the email from discovery documents now under seal in the Northern District Court of San Francisco.

The Ecuadorians have been trying to locate Hansen to subpoena him about the bribery scheme. Hansen had been living in Bakersfield, California, while working in concert with the Chevron contractor and self-proclaimed “dirty tricks” operative Diego Borja to bribe a judge hearing the Ecuadorians’ oil contamination lawsuit.

It’s now known that Chevron has paid Borja around $340,000 (if not more), according to the San Francisco Daily Journal, which recently reported that Borja has been receiving payments since June 2009.

Borja and Hansen secretly videotaped the judge after meeting with Chevron’s lawyers in San Ramon, the company’s corporate headquarters. The judge never discusses a bribe and, in fact, leaves the meeting when Hansen mentions it.

A private investigation conducted by the Ecuadorians found that both Borja and Hansen have complained about Chevron not paying them adequately for their bribery sting operation. Borja threatened to reveal evidence it had about Chevron’s misconduct in the Ecuadorian trial if the company did not compensate him appropriately.

Earlier this year the Ecuadorians successfully subpoenaed and deposed Borja but the U.S. federal judge hearing their discovery motion sealed the court documents. Some reporters, though, obtained some of the documents and emails when they were filed in a related case in the Southern District Court of New York.

Information obtained from discovery and three days of depositions by Borja will be used by the Ecuadorians in their and Chevron’s appeal of the $18 billion judgment in Ecuador. It also will be used to defend the Ecuadorians in Chevron’s so-called “extortion” lawsuit in New York federal court.

It is not clear if the San Francisco judge will unseal the documents before the Ecuadorian and U.S. courts hear arguments expected late this year, but it will be interesting when he does.  Stay tuned.