A northern Michigan judge plans to issue a ruling on whether Chesapeake Energy should stand trial on racketeering charges that accuse it of leasing land to thwart competitors and then canceling the deals when the competition ended.
A probable cause hearing in the criminal case against the Oklahoma City-based company began Aug. 18 and ended Wednesday in Cheboygan District Court. Judge Maria Barton says she'll review the evidence and issue a written opinion later.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (SHOO'-tee) filed the charges over land deals in the northern Lower Peninsula.
Chesapeake spokesman Gordon Pennoyer says it's contesting what it calls "baseless allegations."
A Dec. 2 trial is scheduled in a separate antitrust case that accuses Chesapeake of rigging bids at a 2010 state oil and gas lease auction.