Alan Eagleson investigated
He never played the game, but he was the most powerful man in hockey. Alan Eagleson played many roles off the ice: agent to the stars, union boss and international hockey impresario. But he was also accused of less savoury activities: cozying up to management, bullying players and misusing their money. Then came the investigations, criminal convictions and a dizzying fall from grace.
• Meanwhile, the FBI had been investigating Eagleson's activities since early 1991, on the heels of journalist Russ Conway's Eagleson reports. In March 1992, a U.S. grand jury began investigating him.
• On March 3, 1994, in Boston, the U.S. Justice Department announced it was indicting Eagleson on 32 counts. "A federal grand jury has indicted the former executive director of the National Hockey League Players' Association on charges of racketeering, fraud and embezzlement occurring during his tenure as the head of the players' union," the press release read. (An indictment is a formal accusation.)
• Among the allegations:
- that Eagleson fraudulently charged players Glen Sharpley and Bob Daily to get insurance money for their career-ending disabilities;
- that he wrongfully received more than $100,000 from insurance brokers;
- that he misused $150,000 in airline tickets given by Air Canada in exchange for rink board advertising;
- that he had stolen money during the Canada Cups.
• A key piece of evidence was a 1989 letter from Eagleson claiming that neither he, nor his family nor business partners ever received money from Canada Cup tournaments. This was a lie; in total Eagleson and his associates made $1.8 million in management service fees, and thousands more in expenses.
• Among the fees: $751,000 to Eagleson's law firm, $300,000 to his accountant.
• Because the misinformation was sent to players by post, it constituted mail fraud (laws that were first put in place to trap mafia bosses).
Program: CBC at Six
Broadcast Date: Jan. 6, 1992
Guest(s): Alan Eagleson
Host: Paul Hunter
Reporter: Bruce Dowbiggin
Last updated: September 28, 2012
Page consulted on January 18, 2013
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