Bryan Cohen Aug. 12, 2014, 1:54pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper's office recently wrote a letter to an out-of-state fracking company that allegedly engaged in the improper solicitation of fracking leases.

The Pennsylvania-based Crimson Holdings allegedly tried to promote potentially illegal fracking leases to landowners in Durham County. The company allegedly proposed paying landowners $5 per acre to explore for gas and oil on their property. Cooper said landowners need to learn about their legal rights and protections as the state moves forward with fracking to extract gas and oil.

“We fought for strong protections for property owners and it’s important that you know your rights when it comes to oil and gas leases,” Cooper said. “If someone knocks on your door and tries to push you into signing a lease that doesn’t include the protections you deserve, let my office know.”

Cooper's office wrote to Crimson Holdings on July 28 to demand that it stop offering or entering into leases in North Carolina until it can prove it is in compliance with state laws. Crimson Holdings allegedly failed to register to do business in the state, signed leases that last for more than 10 years, failed to give consumers the right to cancel, lacked educational information and failed to seek approval of the property owners' mortgage lender.

Crimson Holdings responded to the letter and said it would change its leases to comply with state law. Cooper's office said it was unclear on Monday if any of the 1,500 leases the company sent had been signed and returned.

“Leasing your property for oil and gas exploration comes with risks, and that’s why it’s so important that you know your rights and do your homework before you sign a lease,” Cooper said. “If you have problems or questions, our office can help.”

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