Aubrey McClendon, one of the pioneers of the U.S. shale boom, was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges of conspiring with an unnamed company to rig the price of oil and gas leases in Oklahoma.
The indictment alleged that Mr. McClendon orchestrated a campaign to keep bid prices down from 2007 to 2012, while he was chief executive of Chesapeake Energy Corp., amid a land-leasing boom across the U.S. The Justice Department didn’t name anyone else it believed participated in the alleged conspiracy.
“The charge that has been filed against me today is wrong and unprecedented,” Mr. McClendon said in a statement. “All my life I have worked to create jobs in Oklahoma, grow its economy, and to provide abundant and affordable energy to all Americans. I am proud of my track record in this industry, and I will fight to prove my innocence and to clear my name.”
Mr. McClendon said he is the only oil and gas industry executive in more than 110 years to be charged under the Sherman Act for oil and gas leasing activity. Violations of the Sherman Act, a federal antitrust statute, carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine, the Justice Department said.
The Justice Department unveiled the charges Tuesday evening. The indictment didn’t name Chesapeake, or another company allegedly involved in the scheme but referred to a period when Mr. McClendon was Chesapeake’s CEO.
It alleged that those who participated in the bid-rigging scheme decided ahead of time who would win the leases. When Mr. McClendon’s company would win a lease, it would allow the other company to receive a share of what was purchased for whatever it had paid. The state of Michigan made similar allegations against Chesapeake and the company settled that case for $25 million last year.
It's about time! Too bad they aren't charging the Company,not just the CEO at the time. Now they need to set their sights on Ohio, where downright THEFT is happening.
After reading more about it, Looks like they will be leaving Chesapeake alone for now because they are cooperating with the Feds as witnesses in the case. This got me thinking about the signing bonuses and royalty %s that were offered around here in Ohio,PA. The price rigging coulda took place here too!
Not anymore, Aubrey just drove his SUV into a bridge abutment and DIED.
There is always the possibility that it was indeed an accident. I have not read anything that proves positively that it was not an accident. But there is no use to bring his family into more pain and misery then they are already subject to.
Aubrey McClendon, the co-owner of an NBA basketball team and former energy company chief executive who was indicted in federal court on a conspiracy charge Tuesday, died in a car crash Wednesday, police said. He was 56.
Aubrey is gone,but the other side of the story is, there was also 2 un-named companys involved in the indictment. WHY were they un-named? I figure one of those companies is Chesapeake,they are cooperating with the feds, Who is the other? and will that name appear now? Everytone seemed to want to jump on the wagon and point fingers at Aubrey,maybe just because they didn't have the names of the others.
Question? Did anyone have royalty problems with CHK when Aubrey was running the show? Did anyone have royalty problems with AEP/AEU when Aubrey was running the show? I might be wrong but it seems as if NGLs deductions came after Aubrey was gone.