Former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington is again facing a potential jail sentence in the United States for allegedly failing to disclose assets related to his personal bankruptcy.
A judge in Riverside, Calif. today extended Pocklington’s probation on a perjury conviction by 90 days to Jan. 24, 2013 to consider new information that Pocklington has not disclosed all his assets.
Both Pocklington, and his lawyer, Brent Romney, declined to speak to a CBC cameraman outside the courthouse Wednesday.
A witness to the hearing, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a U.S. District attorney asked for the probation extension because it had received information that Pocklington had not disclosed bank accounts. Documents filed in the case have been sealed by the court.
The witness said Pocklington, through Romney, told the court he had complied with all the conditions assigned by the court and complained he was being hounded by his former creditors, which include ATB Financial.
Pocklington asked the court for permission to make two trips; one to Florida later this week for business and a second trip to Canada in November for a birthday party. But the district attorney questioned whether Canada would allow Pocklington into the country given that he was still on probation. Romney assured the court the former millionaire Oilers owner would be allowed to enter Canada.
District Court Judge Virginia Philips said she would allow Pocklington to take the trips, but only if he filed a detailed itinerary with the district attorney’s office, the witness said.
Pocklington pleaded guilty to perjury
In May 2010, a federal judge placed Pocklington on probation after he pleaded guilty to perjury in relation to a 2008 bankruptcy case. Pocklington filed for bankruptcy in August 2008 claiming nearly $19.6 million in debts and only $2,900 in assets. But he subsequently admitted to the he actually had control over two bank accounts and two storage units.
In reports published in May, Pocklington auctioned five of his Stanley Cup championship rings, but under his wife’s name. The rings sold for a reported $272,829 to an anonymous buyer in Alberta.
But the sale fell through when the buyer questioned whether the rings were the only set Pocklington commissioned.
Also in May, the Arizona Securities Division ordered Pocklington to "cease and desist" the sale of shares in a gold-mining company.
Pocklington owned the Oilers through the team’s halcyon years when it won five Stanley Cups. He is still reviled by many in Edmonton for trading superstar Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988.
He also ran for the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservative party in 1983, a contest won by Brian Mulroney.