(AP) Aubrey McClendon, the former chief executive of Chesapeake Energy Corp., has been indicted for conspiring to rig bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma.
The Department of Justice said Tuesday the indictment alleges that the conspiracy ran from December 2007 to March 2012.
The department said that McClendon allegedly orchestrated the scheme between two large energy companies. They would decide ahead of time who would win bids, with the winner then allocating an interest in the leases to the other company.
Leasehold interests usually include the right to develop the land and to extract oil and natural gas for a period of time, typically three to five years.
The indictment was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
In Michigan, Chesapeake paid a $25 million fine to the state in 2015 to settle allegations of conspiring with a Canadian company to rig auctions for drilling rights. Chesapeake also pleaded “no contest” to two misdemeanor criminal antitrust violations in Michigan.
McClendon was also behind a potential housing development on the Lake Michigan shoreline near Saugatuck in 2013.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.