On Thursday, the state of Michigan filed felony racketeering and fraud claims against Chesapeake Energy. It also said that the company canceled a large number of land leases while attempting to lock out competitors for oil and gas rights.
Working with the help of leasing agents, the company harmed northern Michigan landowners when it canceled leases, according to the Michigan Attorney General, Bill Schuette.
Chesapeake signed leases with almost eight hundred landowners in Michigan but fulfilled less than thirty, the complaint shows.
The state said that the leases were canceled on claims that mortgages on properties were a legitimate basis for termination but the landowners were previously told by agents that the mortgages will not be an issue.
In a press release, Schuette said, “I will defend and protect the taxpayers of Michigan in the face of fraudulent business practices. Scamming hardworking Michigan citizens is not how we do business in this state”.
According to Chesapeake, it will fight the charges. Chesapeake spokesman Gordon Pennoyer said, “We believe this action has no merit and we will vigorously contest these baseless allegations”.
On 25th of June, Chesapeake is summoned to court for the charges.
News Source: PetroGlobalNews.com