One of the most grossly overpaid and controversial CEOs in history (remember when he got the company to buy his collection of antique maps? or when he had self-dealing transactions with the company?) has been indicted for bid rigging.
Aubrey McClendon, former chief executive officer of Chesapeake Energy Corp CHK 5.75% and a legend in the U.S. energy industry, was charged on Tuesday with conspiring to rig bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in Oklahoma, the Justice Department said.
The indictment follows a nearly four-year federal antitrust probe that began after a 2012 Reuters investigation found that Chesapeake had discussed with a rival how to suppress land lease prices in Michigan during a shale-drilling boom. Although the Michigan case was subsequently closed, investigators uncovered evidence of alleged bid-rigging in Oklahoma.
In addition to the federal probe, the Michigan attorney general brought criminal charges against Chesapeake, which the company settled in 2015 by agreeing to pay $25 million into a compensation fund for land owners.