A Texas state judge threw out a $1.37 billion lawsuit brought by Moncrief Oil International against Russia’s Gazprom Monday after a key piece of evidence was found to be fake.
Fort Worth-based Moncrief asked that the case be dismissed after discovering that a financial model a Moncrief executive claimed to have created in 2004 contained an image that was not available until 2012.
State District Judge Melody Wilkinson dismissed the case with prejudice.
Moncrief claimed Gazprom exited an agreement for rights to develop a natural gas filed in Siberia after sabotaging the deal and stealing trade secrets during meetings following Gazprom’s 2003 announcement that it planned to sell liquefied natural gas to the United States.
Moncrief attorney Marshall Searcy said he did not know about the falsification issue until the defense discovered the error.
“An employee made a tragic mistake that created a flawed record,” Searcy said.
Former Moncrief Chief Financial Officer David Maconchy said that he prepared a financial model in 2004 that “represented our opinion of the quality, the profitability of the business opportunity,” according to a Gazprom filing seen by Bloomberg.
Gazprom’s legal team determined the document contained an image outlining the stages and costs of liquefied natural gas production that was not available until 2012.
The creator of the image, University of Texas energy economist Michelle Foss, confirmed in an affidavit that the image was first published in 2012.
In a January filing Gazprom said that Moncrief “brazenly fabricated evidence and knowingly offered false testimony” relating to the falsified document.
The dismissal marked the third time Moncrief has failed to successfully pursue its lawsuit against Gazprom.
The company previously lost a similar suit in Germany in 2010 after a federal lawsuit in the United States was thrown out in 2007.