Chesapeake Energy Facing ERISA Investigation

A Los Angeles law firm has begun an investigation into the Chesapeake Energy Corporation Savings and Incentive Stock Bonus Plan.

Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor LLP is looking into potential violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) relating to the plan’s investments. 

The law firm is concerned the plan’s fiduciaries may have breached their fiduciary duties to plan participants by offering Chesapeake stock or other inappropriate funds as plan investment options. A breach also may have occurred if the fiduciaries withheld or concealed information from plan participants about the company’s business and financial results, encouraging them and their beneficiaries to continue to make substantial investments in company stock through the plan.   

Shares in the Oklahoma City company have dropped 48% in the past year. The effect of falling gas prices has been compounded by Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon’s use of personal stakes in the company’s wells to obtain loans.