OKLAHOMA CITY – Chesapeake Energy Corp filed suit Tuesday alleging that its founder and former chief executive, Aubrey K. McClendon, stole confidential company data during his last months on the job in order to launch his new oil and gas empire.
McClendon, 55, “misappropriated highly sensitive trade secrets from Chesapeake” and “subsequently used these trade secrets for the benefit of” a company he founded in 2013, American Energy Partners LP, according to the civil complaint filed by Chesapeake in Oklahoma County District Court.
In the suit, Chesapeake claims McClendon asked his assistant to print maps and data about unleased acreage and that McClendon also sent himself blind copies of the same documents at a personal email address during his last months at the company.
The company says it discovered McClendon’s actions through a forensic analysis of his Chesapeake email account.
Chesapeake alleges that the information was used by McClendon and American Energy Partners to acquire drilling rights on land in the Utica Shale formation in four separate transactions.
McClendon could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
(Reporting by Brian Grow; Additional reporting by Anna Driver in Houston, Joshua Schneyer and Michael Erman in New York. Edited by Blake Morrison and Michael Williams)
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