March 4, 2016 / 3:55 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. moves to dismiss case against ex-Chesapeake CEO after his death

Chief Executive Officer, Chairman, and Co-founder of Chesapeake Energy Corporation Aubrey McClendon walks through the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana in this file photo dated March 26, 2012. REUTERS/Sean Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has filed a motion to dismiss a criminal indictment against former Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N) Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon, who died in a car crash on Wednesday, one day after he was charged with breaking antitrust laws.

McClendon had denied the charges of colluding to rig bids for oil and gas acreage while he was at Chesapeake. In the motion to dismiss on Thursday, the Justice Department said it would “best meet the ends of justice in that the defendant is now deceased.”

The indictment followed a nearly four-year federal antitrust probe that began after a 2012 Reuters investigation found Chesapeake had discussed with a rival how to suppress land lease prices in Michigan during a shale-drilling boom.

Oklahoma City police are investigating why his 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe slammed into an overpass, where it burst into flames. They said the car was traveling above the 40 miles-per-hour (64 kph) speed limit, and that he was not wearing a seat belt.

Reporting by Julia Harte; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Jeffrey Benkoe

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