United States v. CITGO Petroleum Corporation, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas)
Our client, a major oil refiner, was sued in a ten-count indictment for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act based on emissions violations at our client's Corpus Christi, Texas, petroleum refinery, for making false statements to the government, and for "taking" migratory birds. After a jury and bench trial, our client was acquitted of the benzene emissions counts and two of the bird counts, but convicted for the failure to install emissions controls and three of the bird counts. Our client obtained dismissal of the false statement claim before trial. At sentencing, the government argued that the maximum fine was approximately $1 billion. Our client successfully argued that the maximum fine available in the case was $2 million and that the district court could not order additional monetary penalties in excess of the maximum fine. Our client also successfully argued against a restitution award in the tens of millions of dollars. The conviction and sentence are currently on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Eimer Stahl served as co-counsel at trial and sentencing and is serving as lead counsel on appeal.