Peter Pocklington gets 2 years probation, 6 months house arrest
Former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington has been sentenced to serve six months under house arrest and two years probation after he pleaded guilty to a perjury charge.
The judge also ordered Pocklington to complete 100 hours of community service for his crime, as well as pay a $3,000 fine.
In part of a plea bargain, the 68-year-old businessman admitted to lying on a bankruptcy application. The deal was to help Pocklington avoid jail time.
During his sentencing, Pocklington unsuccessfully attempted to offer more community service time for reduced home confinement.
"I believe I can make a difference in young people's lives, inspiring them to be better at what they do."
He went on to say, "I know how to raise self-esteem."
The former Edmonton Oilers owner agreed to plead guilty to perjury after confessing he hid two bank accounts and did not reveal he had two storage units.
Prosecutors had noted they were unable to find "tremendous" amounts of money anywhere that Pocklington had failed to disclose. The undisclosed assets that led to the charges amounted to only about $9,000 in undeclared bank accounts and under $10,000 in storage lockers.
Back in 2008, Pocklington told tax officials he owed creditors $19 million and only had $3,000 to his name. It's believed that's when he failed to admit he had two other bank accounts and two storage facilities full of pricey items.
In a written statement released outside court, Pocklington said his treatment in this case was, "disturbingly disproportionate to the gravity of the crime for which I was accused. "
But the 68-year-old accepted responsibility for signing bankruptcy documents "without fully examining them or questioning why they were incomplete."
One of Pocklington's creditors is the Province of Alberta, which loaned Pocklington's meat-packing business $2 million 20 years ago. The province claims he still owes $12 million.
"He still owes Alberta $12 million and we are part of a larger suit seeking to recover that," said Alberta Finance Minister Ted Morton.
Edmontonian Ed Moroz says he is still owed $200,000 dollars from Pocklington after a bad business deal nearly a decade ago.
Moroz doesn't have much sympathy for the man he says still owes him cash.
"He's lost all the court cases and he's been proven guilty and he's pleaded guilty... what are you whining about?" said Moroz.
The 68-year-old has been living in California since 2002. In part of the legal agreement, Pocklington must submit his tax returns for 2006 through 2009.
With files from Tom Walters and Serena Mah