October 27, 2010 / 7:06 PM / 7 years ago

Ex-owner who traded Gretzky sentenced for perjury

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Peter Pocklington, the former Edmonton Oilers owner known for trading Wayne Gretzky in 1988, was sentenced to six months home detention but spared prison time after admitting to perjury in his bankruptcy case.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in Riverside, California on Wednesday also ordered Pocklington to serve two years of probation, perform 100 hours of community service, and pay a $3,000 fine, according to a spokesman for Andre Birotte, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.

Pocklington, 68, pleaded guilty in May to one count of perjury. He could have faced five years in prison, court records show.

Brent Romney, the defendant’s lawyer, did not respond to requests for comment.

Prosecutors accused Pocklington of concealing assets when he filed his Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in August 2008.

According to court records, Pocklington failed to disclose his sole signing authority over two bank accounts, and his control of two storage units containing property belonging to his wife.

In bankruptcy papers, Pocklington claimed to have $2,900 of assets and $19.7 million of liabilities.

The Oilers won five Stanley Cup titles during Pocklington’s more than two decades of ownership.

The last came in 1990, two years after Pocklington shocked fans by trading Gretzky, considered by many the greatest hockey player ever, to the Los Angeles Kings. Pocklington sold the Oilers in 1998.

The case is U.S. v. Pocklington, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 09-cr-00043.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr

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