Expert Discovers Elaborate Forgery in Chevron's Ecuador Lawsuit

Chevron 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."

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."