SAN FRANCISCO -- Chevron alleges they are the target of a "criminal scheme" over a deeded land controversy in Saudi Arabia.
Dozens of Saudi Arabians received an arbitration award in 2015 of almost $18 billion for oil-rich land that was deeded to them and purportedly taken by Chevron. The Saudi families were allegedly receiving no payments after the expiration of the land lease and the land was not returned. The petition to enforce the award has been filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
California is where the plaintiffs intend to claim the reward.
Sean Comey, senior adviser for Chevron, issued a statement addressing the petition.
"Chevron was targeted in a criminal scheme originating outside of the U.S.," he said The issue was immediately reported to appropriate authorities, who have been investigating this matter. We have also updated authorities of this latest development in the U.S.
"We are confident any jurisdiction that observes the rule of law will immediately understand that there was never any arbitration involving any Chevron entity and that instead criminal acts have been committed in an effort to defraud Chevron."
Chevron says the plaintiffs claimed the large arbitration award within a timely manner and that the nature of the case is fraudulent.
Judge Jeffrey S. White has ordered a joint case management statement for Aug. 31 White also has set an initial case management conference to be held Sept. 9 for both parties to further argue their side of the case.
Comey aadded, "Chevron will continue to vigorously protect our interests and will take all appropriate actions against anyone involved in this fraud including reporting these acts to the U.S. authorities."