Aubrey McClendon, 56, a titan in the natural gas industry, died Wednesday in a fiery single-vehicle crash in Oklahoma City, one day after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of conspiring to rig bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma.

McClendon was the only occupant in the sport utility vehicle when it slammed into a concrete bridge pillar.

McClendon dropped his association in 2013 with Chesapeake and founded American Energy Partners, where he was chairman and CEO.

The Department of Justice said that McClendon was suspected of orchestrating a scheme between two large energy companies, which are not named in the indictment, from December 2007 to March 2012.

In that filing, the companies would decide ahead of time who would win bids, with the winner then allocating an interest in the leases to the other company.

McClendon denied violating antitrust laws.

McClendon was well known in West Virginia when he was associated with Chesapeake Energy, particularly when his company lost a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed against him for financial abuse of royalty holders.

That case originated in Roane County.

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