The U.S. Department of Justice’s Chicago-based antitrust division alleged in the indictment against McClendon that he and unnamed co-conspirators orchestrated the conspiracy to rig bids for landowner leases in northwest Oklahoma.
On Tuesday, McClendon had been indicted on federal charges of bid-rigging and conspiring to suppress prices on oil and natural gas leases between 2007 and 2012, The New York Times reported.
A well-known oil executive and part owner of the Oklahoma Thunder NBA basketball team has died in a fiery auto accident, one day after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on price-fixing charges.
The investigation into the crash will take up to two weeks, police said.
Another man said the cab of the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe was “completely impacted within” and that the vehicle was “on fire”.
The business world was shocked by the vehicle crash death of Chesapeake Energy’s (CHK – Get Report) former CEO Aubrey McClendon, a legendary and brash energy mogul.
“I have been singled out as the only person in the oil and gas industry in over 110 years since the Sherman Act became law to have been accused of this crime in relation to joint bidding on leasehold”, McClendon said in a statement.
Although the MI settlement came two years after McClendon’s departure federal investigators uncovered potential issues with Chesapeake’s leasing practices in Oklahoma during his tenure.
McClendon was a founder and CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corp. before stepping down in 2013 and founding American Energy Partners. Police say McClendon had time to correct and was not wearing a seatbelt.
McClendon resigned from Chesapeake in 2013 after concerns arose over his heavy spending.
“Anyone who knows me, my business record and the industry in which I have worked for 35 years, knows that I could not be guilty of violating any antitrust laws”, he said in a statement following his indictment.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment Thursday on the case.
“He was charismatic and a true American entrepreneur”, T. Boone Pickens, a corporate raider and also an oil prospector, told news sources on Wednesday. As drillers learned to unlock natural gas from shale formations using hydraulic fracturing over the last decade, McClendon pushed the company to acquire enormous tracts of land in several states.