Jack Grynberg Battles On
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 5:48PM
Richard L. Cassin in BP, British Gas, Exxon, Jack Grynberg, James Giffen, Kazakhstan, Private Right of Action, Shell, Statoil

Jack Grynberg: "I have been pursuing fraud in the energy industry for the past 15 years."Colorado-based independent oilman Jack Grynberg filed a 311-page complaint in December with the European Commission. He's asking for an investigation into alleged bribery and tax evasion in Kazakhstan by several oil companies he once partnered with. His claims relate to oil and gas developments dating back to the early 1990s -- the same ones at the center of the U.S. prosecutions of James Giffen and Brian Williams. See our post James Giffen And America's Secrets.

Grynberg, 78, who speaks six languages including Russian, is alleging "wholesale bribery and corruption of top Kazakh government officials." He claims the corruption led to his company's loss of rights in the Greater Kashagan and Karachaganak Oil Fields -- estimated to hold more than 9 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

His complaint names BP plc, StatoilHydro A.S.A., Total S.A., Royal Dutch Shell plc, ENI S.p.A., ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and Inpex.

In a release he sent to the FCPA Blog, he said:

My lawsuit in Brussels will attempt to open the window on this large scale bribery, tax evasion and corruption scheme, obtain subpoena power, and finally answer . . . questions which have remained unanswered for too long. It is unfortunate that the U.S. Department of Justice is attempting to prosecute the messengers, namely Mr. James H. Giffen and Mr. Brian J. Williams, instead of the main criminals and their cheif executives. My hope is that the European Commission will take a more balanced and assertive approach.

The complaint to the EC asserts that the alleged bribery infringed Articles 81 and 82 of the EEC Treaty (antitrust and abusive behavior).

Why the European Commission? Grynberg says he's exhausted his potential U.S. remedies and hasn't been able to subpoena the witnesses he needs (he deposed Giffen, who asserted his 5th Amendment privilege). Grynberg's civil fraud and Rico suit in the District Of Columbia against BP, Statoil, British Gas, and their top executives was bounced last year. The court ordered private arbitration in Canada under agreements Grynberg had signed for the projects.

Grynberg has a rich history of litigation, some of it productive. According to his own documents, he has been "pursuing fraud in the energy industry for the past 15 years." He cites these examples:

Download the executive summary of Jack Grynberg's complaint to the European Commission here.

Article originally appeared on The FCPA Blog (http://www.fcpablog.com/).
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