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Policy: Law

Key hearing starts for Chesapeake's criminal case

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News,Business,Law

CHEBOYGAN, Mich. (AP) — A key court hearing has begun in a criminal case against Chesapeake Energy, which Michigan accuses of leasing land to thwart competitors and then canceling the deals when the competition ended.

A probable cause hearing for the Oklahoma City-based company began Monday in Cheboygan District Court. It's scheduled to continue through Aug. 27.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (SHOO'-tee) has filed criminal charges of fraud and racketeering against Chesapeake over the land deals in the state's northern Lower Peninsula.

Chesapeake spokesman Gordon Pennoyer has said the company is vigorously contesting what it considers "baseless allegations."

A pretrial hearing is scheduled Tuesday in a separate criminal antitrust case that Schuette brought earlier against Chesapeake.

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