Ex-Oilers owner agrees to plea bargain

Former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington has agreed to

plead guilty to perjury in a bankruptcy fraud case, the U.S.

attorney’s office said.

Pocklington, 68, acknowledged that he concealed two accounts at

Palm Desert National Bank from a bankruptcy trustee and failed to

disclose two storage units in Southern California, according to the

plea agreement filed Friday in U.S. District Court.

The plea bargain calls for probation, including six months of

home detention that could force him to wear an electronic

monitor.

Hockey great Wayne Gretzky played on Oilers teams owned by

Pocklington. The franchise won five titles in seven years before

Pocklington sold it in 1998.

Pocklington was arrested at his Palm Desert home in March 2009

on allegations he concealed assets during bankruptcy proceedings.

If convicted of all felony charges, he could have faced up to 10

years in federal prison.

Pocklington filed for personal bankruptcy in 2008. He claimed to

have debts of nearly $20 million and assets of only about

$2,900.

To partially satisfy a court judgment, Pocklington gave a

creditor a piece of art, a rug and desk that were collectively

worth about $80,000 and located in one of his storage units, court

documents said.

According to the plea agreement, Pocklington must cooperate with

the Internal Revenue Service in determining his individual income

tax liability for the years 2006 through 2008. The agreement also

stipulates that Pocklington make full restitution.

The agreement still requires approval from a judge.

No date has been set for Pocklington to enter his guilty plea,

but it is expected that it will be prior to Pocklington’s scheduled

trial date of June 29, U.S. attorney’s office spokesman Thom Mrozek

said.