In some ways, the most startling part of this story may be that someone gave Peter Pocklington money again. The former Edmonton Oilers owner and one-time most hated man in Canadian hockey has had a string of financial problems since losing his team in 1998. He declared bankruptcy in 2008. He was charged with bankruptcy fraud in California in 2009. To top it all off, he pleaded guilty to perjury in 2010.
Now Pocklington, a resident of California, is in trouble again. He’s been accused of securities fraud in Arizona. According to documents filed with that state’s Corporation Commission, Pocklington and partner John McNeil overstated the amount of gold they could recover from a surface-mining operation in La Paz county. Using estimates investigators allege are faulty, the two raised more than US$4.8 million from investors.
Securities officials have asked the commission to levy cease and desist orders, fines and restitution payments against the pair. But Pocklington denies doing anything deliberately wrong. “Any errors made in the past were born of inexperience and naïveté, not malice or avarice,” he wrote in an email, “and they were quickly rectiﬁed.”