US: New York AG drops fraud charges on final day of Exxon climate change trial, outraging oil giant - - PressFrom - US
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US New York AG drops fraud charges on final day of Exxon climate change trial, outraging oil giant

03:05  08 november  2019
03:05  08 november  2019 Source:   nydailynews.com

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The New York attorney general’s office Thursday dropped part of its securities- fraud case against Exxon Mobil Corp. on the final day of a rare climate - change -related trial that has pushed the oil giant ’s accounting practices into public view. Attorney general’s office lawyers withdrew two fraud

A lawyer for Exxon Mobil Corp. said New York ’s fraud lawsuit against the oil giant was a “joke” and that the state had falsely accused engineers and scientists of cooking up a Among more than a dozen witnesses who testified were activist investors who accused Exxon of misleading them, Exxon

Lawyers for energy giant Exxon fumed Thursday when New York’s Attorney General abruptly dropped what a judge called the “hardcore” fraud charges in a trial over whether it misled investors about the financial risks it faced from climate change.

Ted Wells wearing a suit and tie© Mary Altaffer

Exxon attorney Ted Wells could barely contain himself over the state’s abrupt dismissal of charges of common law fraud and equitable fraud. The state had accused the company of misleading people buying stock in the company by withholding the information.

"It’s a cruel joke, your honor, because the reputations of a lot of good people have been disparaged by the bringing of this complaint,” Wells said in his own closing statements in Manhattan Supreme Court.

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Lawyers for New York state and Exxon Mobil Corp will make closing arguments on Friday in the closely watched trial in the state's lawsuit charging that the oil major hid from its investors the true costs of regulations aimed at curbing climate change . The case, filed in October 2018 in Manhattan.

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Besides smearing oil executives’ good names, Wells said, it wasn’t fair for the attorney general’s office to “harass the company for three years” and then say “Oh, never mind” because of insufficient evidence.

Two lesser securities law charges remain in play in the case, which is being decided by Justice Barry Ostrager without a jury. Those charges say Exxon made false promises to investors, in violation of a state law called the Martin Act.

Assistant AG Jonathan Zweig announced the dropping of the charges in his closing statement.

The decision came at the end of a two-week trial resulting from an investigation launched with much fanfare three years ago by then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The state accused Exxon of misleading investors about its forecasts for the cost of carbon emissions.

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Exxon is currently on trial in New York facing similar climate fraud claims. Massachusetts filed suit against ExxonMobil on Thursday, claiming the oil giant misled investors about the risk climate change posed to its business and deceived consumers about the oil company’s role in contributing to

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lawyers for New York state and Exxon Mobil Corp (N:XOM) delivered closing arguments in a closely watched trial accusing the New York 's attorney general alleges that Exxon caused investors to lose up to .6 billion by falsely telling them it had properly evaluated the impact

The Attorney General is seeking up to $1.6 billion in damages from Exxon, a court-ordered review of the company’s previous calculations of carbon costs and supervised disclosures for the next four years.

The case alleged that Exxon kept two sets of books regarding the cost of climate change. The oil company’s public disclosures painted a rosier picture of projected costs than ones it used internally, Zweig said.

The state lawyer said the allegations were part of a “classic securities fraud case” that did not revolve around the existential threat of climate change. Rather, the case revolved around whether Exxon was transparent with its investors.

“Exxon’s disclosures were misleading,” Zweig said.

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