HOUSTON Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N), already under investigation for possible antitrust violations in Michigan, said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday the state's attorney general is also probing a possible violation of Michigan's criminal solicitation law.
Chesapeake said the Michigan Department of Attorney General issued a subpoena related to the matter on September 16, according to the company's quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
In criminal solicitation, a person engages another to commit a crime. A conviction can occur even if the crime never takes place if the intent is demonstrated.
A representative for the attorney general's office declined to comment on the subpoena. Representatives for Chesapeake could not be reached for comment.
The company said in August 2012 that it is the subject of a U.S. government investigation over possible criminal antitrust violations related to the purchase and lease of oil and gas properties in Michigan.
In June 2012, Reuters reported that Chesapeake plotted with its top competitor, Canada's Encana Corp (ECA.TO), to suppress land prices in the Collingwood shale in Northern Michigan.
Emails between Chesapeake and Encana showed the two companies repeatedly discussed how to avoid bidding against each other in a public land auction in Michigan two years ago and in at least nine prospective deals with private land owners.
The company is responding to all subpoenas and demands for information from federal and state authorities, according to the SEC filing.
Chesapeake has previously said that an investigation by its board of directors found no wrongdoing.
(Reporting By Anna Driver; Editing by Terry Wade and Andrew Hay)