[More on this topic here and here] - The claim in the picture comes from the latest lawsuit related to yet-another monumental corruption scheme, through which PDVSA alleges to have lost $5.2 billion. The lawsuit was launched by this mysterious vehicle, PDVSA US Litigation Trust, "formed on July 27, 2017 for the specific purpose" of trying to recoup some of the monies / funds misappropriated / stolen from PDVSA.
I have been trying to determine who is behind that trust, and sent request for comment to the lawyers identified in the claim: Steven W. Zack, Steven N. Zack and David Boies, all with Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. None have replied.
There is no record of such a trust in New York Register of Corporations, and an email requesting info as to where could such information be found was replied with "The NYS Department of State is not the filing office for trusts." Then I found this quote: "New York State law does not currently require a trustee to disclose any information relating to the trust unless requested to do so by a beneficiary." There is some information here about the nature and purposes of litigation trusts, which are defined thus: "A litigation trust, like other trusts, is a creature of contract."
So let's take that at face value, and consider for argument sake that PDVSA US Litigation Trust is some sort of a contract established by PDVSA to pursue Lukoil, Glencore, Colonial Oil, Trafigura, Vitol, Helsinge, Francisco Morillo, Leonardo Baquero et al.
So if the trust was indeed established by PDVSA, how come John Thackray, an IT forensics expert contracted to investigate the matter, failed to gain entry to PDVSA's server room in one of his visits to Caracas? If PDVSA management gave a mandate to these investigators, how could anyone impede access to servers?
Why did PDVSA decide to establish a trust, in New York, rather than pursuing all legal options directly?
Has PDVSA requested Venezuela's Attorney General to pursue similar actions?
Given the past between Francisco Morillo and Wilmer Ruperti (Morillo was Ruperti's employee), Ruperti's own history with PDVSA and creative (ab)use of PDVSA's name in his own corrupt deals, Ruperti's paying legal defense in the US of Nicolas Maduro's drug trafficking nephews, Ruperti's own past with Trafigura, Glencore, etc., Ruperti's excellent business of late with PDVSA, would it be inaccurate to conclude that he is, somehow, connected to PDVSA US Litigation Trust?
What comment would investigators and lawyers involved in the trust have on Ruperti's very own practice of pretending to be PDVSA in utterly corrupt deals with Russian shipping companies?
If Ruperti is indeed involved, what kind of legal punishment did he suffer in Venezuela due to his corrupt deals with Rafael Ramirez, Ali Rodriguez and PDVSA? Or is Ruperti's corruption in any way different than that of Morillo & Baquero?
Sooner or later it will be revealed. Ruperti is, most certainly, not short of cash to fund legal adventures of this type, and in such desperate times, the "new PDVSA" might as well associate itself with Ruperti to "fight corruption". A source told me that use of a trust may well be a hedge, so that the ever growing list of PDVSA creditors won't be able to get their hands on whatever asset / funds the litigating trust secures.