Aubrey McClendon's shocking death Wednesday ended the criminal bid-rigging case against him. But it doesn't mean that anyone else who allegedly broke the law with the ex-Chesapeake Energy co-founder and CEO — or others in the same industry — is off the hook.
McClendon, 56, died in a fiery car crash just a day after being charged in a federal indictment accusing him of conspiring to violate federal antitrust law by rigging bids to buy oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma from late 2007 through 2012, when he ran Chesapeake Energy, the nation's second-largest natural gas producer.
A law enforcement source told CNBC that the Justice Department is expected to dismiss the case against McClendon, though the exact timetable is not certain.
However, the source said that the broader federal antitrust investigation involving oil and gas industry leasing is ongoing.
McClendon was defiant immediately after the indictment. "I will fight to prove my innocence and to clear my name," he said. Less than 24 hours later, police said he drove "straight into a wall" on a highway embankment in Oklahoma City at high speed while not wearing a seat belt.