Latest: Landowner’s lawyers sue Oklahoma City energy giants

The Latest on Oklahoma energy tycoon Aubrey McClendon, who was killed in fiery single-vehicle crash just hours after being indicted on federal charges connected to rigging bids for oil and gas leases (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

Attorneys for a northwest Oklahoma landowner have filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma City energy giants Chesapeake Energy and Sandridge Energy in connection to a federal indictment against ex-Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon.

The federal class-action lawsuit was filed Thursday in Oklahoma City on behalf of an Alfalfa County landowner who signed a lease agreement with Chesapeake Energy in 2011.

The indictment against McClendon alleged he and unnamed co-conspirators orchestrated a conspiracy to rig bids for landowner leases in northwest Oklahoma. Federal prosecutors sought to withdrew the indictment after McClendon died Wednesday in a single-car crash.

The lawsuit also names ex-Sandridge CEO Tom Ward, a longtime friend of McClendons and co-founder of Chesapeake.

Neither Ward nor Sandridge officials immediately returned messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Chesapeake has said it’s cooperating with federal investigators.


2:50 p.m.

Federal authorities are seeking to dismiss a charge of bid rigging against Oklahoma energy tycoon Aubrey McClendon, who died in a fiery car crash just hours after the indictment was announced.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Chicago-based antitrust division filed a motion to dismiss the bid rigging conspiracy indictment on Thursday in federal court in Oklahoma City.

Federal prosecutors alleged the 56-year-old former chief executive of Chesapeake Energy orchestrated a scheme between two large energy companies to decide ahead of time which would win bids on oil and gas landowner leases.

The two large energy companies were not named in the indictment, but McClendon was CEO of Chesapeake during the time the scheme was alleged.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment Thursday on the case.

McClendon died in a single-car crash Wednesday in Oklahoma City.


12:20 p.m.

State officials say investigations into the death of energy magnate Aubrey McClendon in a fiery single-car crash in Oklahoma City could take months to complete.

Oklahoma City police Sgt. Ashley Peters says a probe of Wednesday’s crash likely will take up to two weeks, while the state medical examiner’s office says an autopsy investigation could take as long as three months.

Police say McClendon’s Chevrolet Tahoe slammed into a concrete embankment and burst into flames, killing the 56-year-old energy company CEO.

Several passing motorists called 911 shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday to report a vehicle on fire at an underpass beneath Interstate 44 in northeast Oklahoma City.

McClendon had been indicted just hours earlier by a federal grand jury on charges of gas-lease bid rigging.

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