Attorney Steven Donziger (Image courtesy of CBS News / 60 Minutes via YouTube)

A federal judge Friday refused to delay enforcement of a ruling that a U.S. lawyer used fraud to win a multi-billion pollution verdict against Chevron in Ecuador.

In March, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that attorney Steven Donziger was barred in the U.S. from collecting on a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron.

Donziger appealed the ruling and asked Judge Kaplan to stay the ruling pending the appeal.

Chevron filed a lawsuit against Donziger in New York to block collection of the $9.5 billion Ecuador award.

The oil company said the Ecuador case was tainted by bribery and fake evidence.

Donziger had claimed to represent a group of villagers who alleged Chevron polluted an area of northeastern Ecuador.

An Ecuador judge awarded the villagers $18 billion in 2011 but a higher court there reduced the judgment to $9.5 billion.

Judge Kaplan said in his 500-page decision in March that evidence showed that Donziger bribed a former judge to ghost write the Ecuador judgment and offered bribes to secure the verdict.

“Donziger had asked Kaplan to put the decision on hold while a federal appeals court considers the merits of his challenge, a process that will likely take months to resolve,” Reuters said.

But in Friday’s order, Kaplan said Donziger’s arguments for a stay were largely “without merit.”

Donziger has accused Judge Kaplan of bias.

The lawyer has denied the bribery and fraud allegations.

Chevron has asked Judge Kaplan  to award it $32 million for attorneys fees it incurred during the successful  fraud and racketeering trial against Donziger. 


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