On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that Aubrey McClendon, ex- chief executive officer of Chesapeake Energy Corp has been charged for conspiring to rig bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in Oklahoma.
A federal antitrust probe has been going for almost four years regarding matters related to land-leasing during the shale-drilling boom and now the indictment followed.
The probe started following a Reuters investigation in 2012 which discovered that Chesapeake discussed ways of suppressing land lease prices in Michigan with a rival. The matter ignited a spark in the state and led to a federal antitrust investigation that was closed but proved to be evidence of the supposed bid-rigging allegations in Oklahoma.
McClendon, based in Oklahoma was once upon a time counted among the highest paid CEOs in the U. S. He and Tom Ward, his fellow Oklahoma oilman co-founded Chesapeake in 1989. Later on both of them left Chesapeake with McClendon stepping down in 2013in the middle of concerns related governance and liquidity crunch. In 2006, Ward left the company and in the same year, founded rival SandRidge Energy Inc.