Pocklington arrested in bankruptcy case

3/12/2009 - NHL Edmonton Oilers

Former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington was arrested at his home Wednesday on charges that he concealed assets during bankruptcy proceedings.

The 67-year-old Pocklington was later arraigned and pleaded not guilty in federal court in Riverside, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Lokey.

Pocklington is accused in an indictment of making false statements in bankruptcy and making false oaths and accounts in bankruptcy. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in federal prison.

It could not be determined if he had a lawyer.

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 filed for personal bankruptcy last year. He is suspected of failing to disclose to a bankruptcy court two bank accounts as well as the contents of two storage units. He claimed to have debts of nearly $20 million and assets of only about $2,900. It wasn't immediately disclosed how much money was in the bank accounts.

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.