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Chesapeake confirms SEC probe

Chesapeake Energy Corp. confirmed the company and CEO Aubrey McClendon have been notified of an information inquiry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
BY JAY F. MARKS Business Writer jmarks@opubco.com Modified: May 3, 2012 at 3:39 pm •  Published: May 3, 2012
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Chesapeake Energy Corp. intends to cooperate with an ongoing inquiry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said Thursday in a regulatory filing.

Chesapeake confirmed the company and CEO Aubrey McClendon have been notified of an informal inquiry by the SEC's regional office in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Oklahoma City-based natural gas and oil producer said the correspondence from the SEC noted it is not an indication that any violation of federal securities law has occurred.

Chesapeake received the SEC's request to retain certain documents on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after Reuters reported the inquiry.

The report came after Reuters unearthed up to $1.1 billion in personal loans McClendon obtained to invest in Chesapeake wells.

The company since has moved to rescind that perk, which had been granted to McClendon as Chesapeake's founder.

Some analysts have expressed concerns that the program posed a potential conflict of interest since McClendon might be tempted to watch out for his personal interests over those of the company's shareholders.

At least nine shareholders have filed lawsuits against McClendon and Chesapeake's board since the April 18 Reuters report.

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