Michigan prosecutors filed additional fraud charges against Chesapeake Energy on Wednesday, identifying 12 additional alleged victims.
Chesapeake is accused of failing to honor land leases it signed with 20 Michigan property owners in 2010.
Prosecutors said Chesapeake and its agents used “cold drafting” to obtain lease options by false pretenses, preventing competitors from leasing land.
The property owners were not compensated, according to prosecutors.
“We will vigorously contest these baseless allegations,” said Chesapeake spokesman Gordon Pennoyer.
On Wednesday, Chesapeake representatives appeared in the Cheboygan District Court on behalf of the company to face the charges.
A preliminary hearing was set for August 18.