Image courtesy of Coolcaesar/Wikimedia Commons.

The Department of Justice is reportedly moving to dismiss its case against former Chesapeake Energy CEO Audrey McClendon.

McClendon, 56, died on Wednesday after his 2013 Tahoe crashed into a bridge embankment in Oklahoma City and caught fire.

A law enforcement source told CNBC that the DOJ is expected to dismiss its case against McClendon, although no timetable for dropping the charges has been established.

The source added that the federal government will continue its investigation into oil and gas leasing practices.

His death came barely a day after the DOJ announced that a federal grand jury had indicted him on charges of rigging bids for oil and gas leases in Oklahoma.

In a statement, the DOJ said McClendon had “orchestrated” a bid rigging scheme between “two large oil and gas companies” that ran from December 2007 to March 2012.

Several sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that SandRidge Energy is the second company mentioned in the indictment.

Former SandRidge Energy CEO and chairman Tom Ward co-founded Chesapeake Energy with McClendon in 1989 and currently serves as CEO and chairman of Oklahoma-based Tapstone Energy.

Neither Ward nor Tapstone Energy have not commented on the matter.

Chesapeake Energy told CNBC it has received immunity from prosecution after cooperating with the investigation.

A class of oil and gas royalty owners filed a civil antitrust lawsuit on Friday against Chesapeake Energy, SandRidge Energy and Ward.

The lawsuit, filed by Dallas-based law firm Burns Charest, alleges that the “defendants violated federal antitrust laws by rigging bids and limiting competition for oil and gas leases in northwest Oklahoma.”

The suit claims that the class could “ultimately include thousands of affected royalty owners in the Anadarko Basin Region,” Burns Charest said.

The case is Thieme v. Chesapeake Energy Corp., et al. and was filed in federal court in the Western District of Oklahoma.

The defendants listed in the suit have not commented on the matter.


Leave a Reply