The indictment brought by the U.S. Justice Department Antitrust Division was dismissed Thursday against Aubrey McClendon, the late CEO of American Energy Partners, said Bob Troester, executive assistant United States Attorney.
McClendon died Wednesday morning when his Chevy Tahoe swerved and crashed into a bridge standard on Midwest Boulevard, between 122nd Street and Memorial, according to Oklahoma City Police. McClendon died instantly upon the collision as the vehicle engulfed in flames, police say.
The Department of Justice had charged him for “conspiring to rig bids for the purchase of oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma.”
McClendon was scheduled to appear in court on the day he died. On Tuesday McClendon denied the allegations of conspiracy against him.
A private class-action lawsuit was filed against Chesapeake Energy, McClendon’s former company that he stepped down from in 2013 under pressure. The lawsuit alleges that former Sandridge Energy CEO Tom Ward was engaged in a conspiracy with Chesapeake, according to the Associated Press.
Ward was dismissed by Sandridge in 2013 and later founded Tapstone Energy LLC. McClendon and Ward worked together to create Chesapeake Energy in 1989. Chesapeake is based in Oklahoma City and is one of the largest natural gas producers in the United States and helped to usher in the shale revolution.
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Paco Balderrama said McClendon’s death remains under investigation. Police say he was driving well over the 40 mph speed limit when his vehicle crashed. Oklahoma Supreme Court records note that McClendon received only two traffic tickets that were in 1998 and 1999 for speeding.
The black box contained in McClendon’s vehicle is being tested for evidence and the investigation into McClendon’s death could take months to complete, according to police.
According to the state medical examiner, McClendon’s autopsy could last three months.