American Energy Partners (AEP) said Wednesday that it will be shutting down.

In a statement seen by the AP, the Oklahoma-based company said the five independent firms it created will continue to operate but AEP will close its doors.

AEP was established by Chesapeake Energy co-founder Aubrey McClendon in 2003.

McClendon died in March after his 2013 Tahoe crashed into a bridge embankment, barely a day after he was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The five independent firms AEP created are Ascent Resources, Heritage Resource Management,Permian Resources, Traverse Midstream and Whitestar Energy.

Those companies are no longer affiliated with AEP.

According to NewsOk, the company laid off about half of its 100 workers on Wednesday.

AEP has not disclosed a timeline for closing its operations.

A source close to AEP told NewsOK that it will take between two to four months to close the company.

McClendon was indicted on March 1 by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to rig bids for the purchase of oil and natural gas leases.

The indictment alleged that McClendon “orchestrated” a conspiracy between “two large” oil and gas companies from December 2007 to March 2012 to collaborate on bids for oil and gas leases in northwest Oklahoma.

McClendon also allegedly instructed his subordinates to execute the conspiratorial agreement, including withdrawing bids on leases and agreeing on how the stakes in the leases would be divided between the two firms.

He had denied any wrongdoing.

Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty said investigators have determined that McClendon was traveling at about 88 mph with no seat belt on in the minutes leading up to the accident.

A lawsuit filed in March indicated that Oklahoma-based SandRidge Energy was the company McClendon allegedly collaborated with.

SandRidge was founded by fellow Chesapeake Energy co-founder Tom Ward who currently serves as chief of Tapstone Energy.

SandRidge confirmed in April that the DOJ dropped its anti-trust probe into the firm.

SandRidge filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week.

The company said it projects having ample liquidity to fund its ongoing operations and its capital programs during the bankruptcy process.


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