Ex-wife of Continental Resources CEO sues over investment

AP News
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Posted: Aug 23, 2015 2:04 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The former wife of billionaire Oklahoma energy tycoon Harold Hamm, who was awarded nearly $1 billion in a divorce settlement, is now suing Hamm over the sale of a company the two co-owned.

The lawsuit by Sue Ann Arnall alleges the $4.5 million sale in 2005 of the parent company and sole shareholder of Jolette Oil LLC to Continental Resources was below market value. It asks for damages in excess of $10,000.

Jolette Oil was one of Hamm's first successful investments in North Dakota's Bakken oil field and came through leases using Jolette Oil, which he also owned with Arnall, then Sue Ann Hamm.

The lawsuit filed Friday says Hamm, the CEO of Continental Resources Inc., sold Mineral Acquisition LLC, Jolette Oil's parent company, to Continental Resources without Arnall's knowledge. The lawsuit said Hamm and Arnall jointly owned Mineral Acquisition and that she did not learn of the sale until August 2013.

"These leaseholds and well transferred to CRI (Continental Resources Inc.) subsequently appreciated greatly in value and by the end of 2012 represented crude oil reserves having a present value of over $900 million," according to the lawsuit.

An attorney for Hamm did not return a phone call seeking comment on Sunday.

Arnall and Hamm were divorced in November and Hamm was ordered to pay a nearly $1 billion settlement. Arnall appealed the settlement, saying the amount is a fraction of the couple's $18 billion worth, but the appeal was dismissed in April in a 7-2 ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Hamm and Arnall went through a protracted divorce case and appeals that ended with Hamm writing a check for $974.8 million to Arnall for her share of what a judge determined were the assets built up by the couple during their 25-year marriage.

The Jolette/Minerals Acquisition sale was brought up during the divorce case with the judge using the net proceeds of the sale, $3.7 million, as part of the accounting of the marital assets.