The Justice Department announced Tuesday night that it had charged Aubrey K. McClendon, an Oklahoma wildcatter who turbocharged the shale revolution by buying up gas fields across the United States, with conspiring to suppress prices paid for oil and natural gas leases.
The indictment says that Mr. McClendon, who led Chesapeake Energy before he was forced to step down three years ago, orchestrated a conspiracy in which two oil and gas companies colluded not to bid against each other for the purchase of several leases in northwestern Oklahoma from late 2007 to early 2012.
According to the Justice Department, the companies decided who would win the leases, with the winning bidder allotting an interest in the leases to the other company.Read more of that article by clicking here.
“McClendon instructed his subordinates to execute the conspiratorial agreement, which included, among other things, withdrawing bids for certain leases and agreeing on the allocation of interests in the leases between the conspiring companies,” the department said in a statement.
Click here to visit Forbes and read the actual indictment.
McClendon responded to the charges with a statement:
"The charge that has been filed against me today is wrong and unprecedented. 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. 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. 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."Read the rest of the release, which includes a statement from McClendon's attorneys, by clicking here.
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