Controversy over the disbursement of contract funds

Houston, TX – Nov 28, 2023 – (SeaPRwire) – MEI announces a new probe in its investigation of a dispute involving a platform leasing contract of 2016 to Mexico’s national oil company, Pemex. The contract was financed by Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB).

The probe concerns that network of law firms and cooperating court officials whose legal maneuvers impede the timely execution of administrative justice in civil disputes.

The probe advanced with new information on judicial corruption revealed in the recent exposé by journalist Hernán Gómez Bruera, a detailed account of seven multimillion-dollar litigations that were led, on the one side, by four law offices, each of which with ties to the former legal counsel of the president of Mexico. On the other side, the names of the same judges, court secretaries, magistrates and government authorities repeatedly appear. The courts were consistently amenable to the legal motions of the lawyers, including requests for delays and injunctions against the actions of plaintiffs.

Several law firms and attorneys identified in the exposé were involved in the proceedings in the civil action initiated by Trese. S.A. de C.V. In some cases, the court determined that funds were diverted improperly (File 267/2019 of 4th Civil Court CDMX).

In 2016, Trese had filed for court protection while insolvency restructuring took place. Court documents show that funds from Pemex for the lease of a gas compression platform that were payable to Trese were frozen in a trust administered by CIBank, and that some of the funds had been transferred to UOB, which was the first beneficiary. Such direct transfers were noncompliant with rules applicable to financial restructurings. There is a court demand that parties return the funds and take their place in line to receive disbursements from the trust as ordered by the court. In 2022, Grupo Empresarial Anacar, a Mexico City specialist in bankruptcy, was retained Trese and a majority of 150 creditors to help resolve a $300 million dispute with UOB, amon others.

By its probe, MEI expects to determine if the years of court back-and-forth was the natural product of the complexity of the dispute or if the extended period was facilitated by financial crime and corruption in the judicial system.

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George Baker

Baker & Associates, Energy Consultants


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