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Ex-Chesapeake CEO and early pioneer of the American shale industry was killed in a single car accident in Oklahoma City today, one day after he was indicted for conspiracy to rig lease bids.

According to Capt. Paco Balderrama of the Oklahoma City Police Department, McClendon, 56, crashed into an embankment while traveling at a “high rate of speed” in Oklahoma City just after 9 a.m.

“He pretty much drove straight into the wall,” Balderrama said.

McClendon’s 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe was immediately engulfed in flames.

He stepped down from Chesapeake Energy in 2013, a company he co-founded in 1989.

An federal grand jury indicted McClendon yesterday on conspiracy charges for his alleged involvement in fixing Oklahoma land lease bids.

“His actions put company profits ahead of the interests of leaseholders entitled to competitive bids for oil and gas rights on their land. Executives who abuse their positions as leaders of major corporations to organize criminal activity must be held accountable for their actions,” Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division Bill Baer said.

McClendon was one of the highest paid executives in the United States for many years. In 2008, his pay package was $112 million. The following year, Chesapeake offered him a five-year retention contract, including a $75 million bonus.

He was a part owner of the NBA team, Oklahoma City Thunder.

After he left Chesapeake Energy, McClendon founded American Energy Partners in 2013 and served as its CEO.

“Aubrey’s tremendous leadership, vision, and passion for the energy industry had an impact on the community, the country, and the world. We are tremendously proud of his legacy and will continue to work hard to live up to the unmatched standards he set for excellence and integrity,” American Energy Partners said in a statement.


  1. In many ways Tuesday’s indictment was the oil exec’s suicide card dealt. This was the nail on the coffin, after the exec having run a string of questionable business practices over the years- which risked showing the man what he really may have been in the end: a bully, a finagler and an out right cheat. Can we not say that about many oil execs in America? He just got caught…. what was there to live for now….??? How much money did McClendon have left to deal with now?

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