An Oklahoma County judge has ordered oil magnate and Continental Resources Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm to pay nearly $1 billion in a divorce judgment, according to a court filing made public on Monday. Special Judge Howard Haralson found that Hamm should pay his ex-wife Sue Ann Hamm a total of $995.5 million, with about a third of the funds, or $322.7 million, to be paid by the end of the year, the filing says.
Hamm, Oklahoma's richest man, will then be required to pay the rest of the judgment, some $650 million, in installments worth at least $7 million per month, the filing says. Sue Ann Hamm has already been awarded around $25 million since the case was filed in 2012, the filing says. To secure the judgment, Judge Haralson has placed a lien on 20 million shares of Continental stock, the filing says. The ruling, which is subject to appeal, comes after a 9-1/2 week divorce trial ended last month. Expert witnesses for Sue Ann Hamm, a former attorney at Continental, had pressed the court to divide a fortune valued at about $17.6 billion in wealth that had accrued in Harold's shares of the company since 1988, when she married Harold. Such a multibillion-dollar award could have forced Harold to liquidate a significant portion of his Continental shares, eroding his control of one of America's fastest-growing energy companies. Continental is a leading driller in the Bakken oilfield of North Dakota and Montana. Harold's side contended his wife deserves almost none of it.
-- Reuters and NBC News