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Amazon Defense Front press release mistakenly republished by the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, then cited as authority by the Front

Amazon Defense Front press release mistakenly republished by the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, then cited as authority by the Front

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Published by Roger Parloff
This Amazon Defense Front press release, widely disseminated over the CSRwire, was mistakenly picked up and republished by the Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The Front's lawyers themselves then cited to it in a court document it submitted in the Chevron v. Donziger case, mistakenly citing the Foundation as its author.
This Amazon Defense Front press release, widely disseminated over the CSRwire, was mistakenly picked up and republished by the Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The Front's lawyers themselves then cited to it in a court document it submitted in the Chevron v. Donziger case, mistakenly citing the Foundation as its author.

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: Roger Parloff on Sep 13, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/28/2013

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9/12/13 3:03 PMChevron Paid $2.2 Million to Man Who Threatened To Expose Company's Corruption in Ecuador | Business Civic Leadership CenterPage 1 of 5http://bclc.uschamber.com/csr-news/chevron-paid-22-million-man-who-threatened-expose-companys-corruption-ecuador
Chevron Paid $2.2 Million toMan Who Threatened ToExpose Company'sCorruption in Ecuador
Chevron has paid a whopping $2.2 million to a longtime company contractor whorepeatedly threatened to expose the company's attemptsto mislead the court andcorrupt the landmark environmental trial in Ecuador, according to new court documents.Links to documents are below at the end of press release.The stunning inf ormation could f urther damagethe legal prospects of the oil giant,which earlier this month found itself on the losing end of an appellate court decision in Ecuador affirming an $18 billion liability for causing what experts believe could be the world'sworst oil contamination. Seehereandhere. Chevron has been repeatedly sanctioned in Ecuador for trying to sabotage the trial,intimidate judges into ruling in favor of the company, and using a secret lab to hide itsdirty soil samples from the court. Seehere,hereandhere. Chevron paid the $2.2 million – what plaintiffs call "hush money" – to Diego Borja, a self-described Chevron "dirty tricks" operative who lifted soil and water samples duringdozens of critical court-supervised inspections during the eight-year trial from 2003 to2011. Aside from his trial duties, Borja in 2009 orchestrated a video scheme to entrap anEcuador judge in a fake bribery scandal, whichbackfired against the company; he later was recorded on a phone call describing evidence that Chevron cooked laboratoryresults to hide its contamination from the court. Seehereandhere.  Chevron paid for Borja and his family to move from Ecuador to the United States in2009, where he reportedly lives in an undisclosed location in the Houston area whileremaining on Chevron's payroll while he does no work. Borja's wife, Sara Portilla, was
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9/12/13 3:03 PMChevron Paid $2.2 Million to Man Who Threatened To Expose Company's Corruption in Ecuador | Business Civic Leadership CenterPage 2 of 5http://bclc.uschamber.com/csr-news/chevron-paid-22-million-man-who-threatened-expose-companys-corruption-ecuador
also given a job by the company the nature of which remains undisclosed, according totheevidence.Chevron disclosed during discovery in a related litigation in New York that it had paid thefunds to Borja as of September of 2011, the point when a trial the oil giant initiated toblock enforcement of the $18 billion Ecuador judgment was stayed by a federal appellatecourt. A separate discovery proceeding against Chevron underway in federal court in SanFrancisco could lead to the disclosure of additional documents implicating the oil giant inan attempt to undermine the court proceedings and cover up Borja's "dirty tricks"activities, said Karen Hinton, the U.S. spokesperson for the Ecuadorians."The exorbitant amounts of money paid by Chevron to a low-level Ecuadorian worker isclearly hush money designed to buy silence from a man who can expose the company'scorruption," said Hinton, noting that Chevron has spent huge legal fees on three differentlaw firms in an attempt to prevent further disclosure of Borja's documents.The payments to Borja and his wife include regular monthly fees of $5,000 to $10,000;fund for housing and the purchase of furniture, appliances, cell phones, travel, legal fees,and even the payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars of income taxes.Chevron also paid the fees of prominent California criminal defense attorney Cris Arguedes to represent Borja, who facespotential criminal liabilityfor his trial-relatedactivities in Ecuador. Arguedes is expected to represent Borja as a likely witness invarious legal fora as the case proceeds.In the San Francisco discovery proceeding, Chevron has used three large corporate lawfirms -- including Jones Day and Boies Schiller -- to fight further disclosure of Borja'sdocuments. These include the contents of an IPhone that Borja says could destroyChevron's legal defense in the Ecuador case. A ruling on that discovery request,currently before Magistrate Judge Nathaniel Cousins, has been pending for months. Another set of documents, ordered released by a federal court in Colorado, disclosedthat Chevron used a secret “Judicial Inspection Playbook” to execute a plan to hidecontamination from the Ecuador court. Seehereandhere. Details about Chevron’s relationship and involvement with Borja and his partner WayneHanson, a convicted American drug trafficker, have leaked as findings from privateinvestigations and court documents have been released over the last year. Seehereandhere.Some of the more salient facts that have been made public include:Chevron made several material misrepresentations when the videotape scandalbroke in August 2009. The most blatant was the company's description of Borja asa "Good Samaritan" when in fact he was a paid “dirty tricks” operative workingunder the direction of Chevron lawyers.
 
9/12/13 3:03 PMChevron Paid $2.2 Million to Man Who Threatened To Expose Company's Corruption in Ecuador | Business Civic Leadership CenterPage 3 of 5http://bclc.uschamber.com/csr-news/chevron-paid-22-million-man-who-threatened-expose-companys-corruption-ecuador
Courthouse Newsreported that it had an email from Hansen confirming Chevronhad "cut a deal" with Borja for his work in trying to mount a dirty tricks campaign toundermine the trial.Hansen, the drug trafficker who worked with Borja, vanished from the U.S. after being subpoenaed in 2011 under federal court order. He is said to be living in Peruand has had contact with an American investigator being paid by Chevron,according to Courthouse News.Borja told a friend in Ecuador, Santiago Escobar, that one of his jobs for Chevronwas to switch contaminated soil samples for clean ones before submitting them tothe company's laboratory -- a practice consistent with those described in other Chevron documents releasedunder court order.Borja also told Escobar in a taped conversation that he would "immediately go tothe other side" if Chevron did not pay him enough. He told Escobar that there are"things that can make the [plaintiffs] win this just like that" and he bragged that"crime does pay."Borja said that Chevron lied to the Ecuador court when it said the lab it used to testsoil samples was independent, when in fact it was run by Borja and his wife.Borja confirmed that he and his wife worked on the Chevron case handling fieldsamples for several years. He said his uncle has been employed by Chevron inEcuador for 30 years.Robert Middlestadt, a managing partner of the Jones Day law firm in San Franciscoand a longtime Chevron outside counsel, also has been implicated in the Borjascandal. Evidence from discovery proceedings demonstrates that Middlestadt wasinvolved in "managing" intimate details of Borja's life after he came to the U.S.,including his procurement of counsel and the payment of his cell phone bills. Summary Documenthttp://chevrontoxico.com/assets/docs/chevron-payments-to-or-on-behalf-of-borja.pdf  Supporting Documentshttp://chevrontoxico.com/assets/docs/borja-chevron-invoice-payments.pdhttp://chevrontoxico.com/assets/docs/borja-chevron-payments-to-borja.pdf http://chevrontoxico.com/assets/docs/borja-travel-and-living-expenses.pdf http://chevrontoxico.com/assets/docs/borja-travel-expenses.pdf http://chevrontoxico.com/assets/docs/borja-attorney-bills.pdf http://chevrontoxico.com/assets/docs/borja-cort-invoices.pdf  

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