In its Form 10-K filing today for fiscal year 2012, Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) notified the company on December 21, 2012, that the department’s inquiry into some of the company’s business practices would continue “as an investigation, and [the SEC] has issued subpoenas for information and testimony.” The SEC inquiry was begun in May 2012, following revelations of CEO Aubrey McClendon’s well-participation benefit and how that may have affected the company’s business decisions.
This is the first announcement by Chesapeake of the SEC investigation.
Chesapeake faces several civil lawsuits related to this and other of its practices, but the company’s board has cleared McClendon of misconduct and also of antitrust allegations related to the acquisition of leases in the Utica-Collingwood shale play, based on the board’s own inquiries.
McClendon will step down as CEO of Chesapeake at the end of this month.
Shares are down about 3.4%, at $19.48 in a 52-week range of $13.32 to $26.09.