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Judge dismisses shareholder lawsuit against Chesapeake

A U.S. District judge on Wednesday sided with Chesapeake Energy Corp. and dismissed a class-action lawsuit concerning the company's finances and those of co-founder Aubrey McClendon.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: April 11, 2013

A federal judge Wednesday sided with Chesapeake Energy Corp. and dismissed a class-action lawsuit about certain financial dealings of the company and its co-founder Aubrey McClendon.

U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled that shareholders did not provide enough evidence to support the claims.

Chesapeake praised the ruling Wednesday.

“This is the lead case against Chesapeake and the first ruling in which a court has addressed the merits of the claims that have been asserted against the company and members of its management team,” Chesapeake outside attorney Robert Varian said in a statement. “We are pleased with the court's complete rejection of the claims, which were based on unfounded accusations that were given widespread attention in the media.”

The lawsuit was filed in April 2012, days after a Reuters report detailed company financial dealings and more than $1 billion in personal loans McClendon secured from companies doing business with Chesapeake, using his stake in Chesapeake wells as collateral.

The case was later consolidated with other similar suits that together claimed Chesapeake and its management did not disclose enough information about the company's finances and McClendon's loans.

Specifically, the suit addressed claims that the Oklahoma City energy company did not tell shareholders enough about its volumetric production payment deals in which Chesapeake received cash up front for future natural gas and oil production. The company said it raised $3.6 billion with the program, but did not disclose that the deals required the company to spend $1.4 billion in future drilling, the lawsuit claimed.

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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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