As Peter Pocklington’s legal miseries mount and his August 11 criminal trial* for allegedly bamboozling bankruptcy authorities with lies about his assets draws ever closer, the former car dealer, NHL team owner, federal Tory leadership candidate, and serial welcher**, has decided to 'take the fifth': See: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/peter-pocklington-takes-the-fifth/article1197982/
As we speak, Pocklington is being pursued on two separate fronts in connection with his assignment in bankruptcy in his adopted home state of California. First of all, there are the bankruptcy proceedings themselves. At this point, Trustee in Bankruptcy Robert Whitmore wants to know just precisely what Peter Puck’s assets are as well as their whereabouts, so that he might scoop them up and distribute them amongst Puck’s patient creditors. To that end, Whitmore has a bunch of questions that he would like to put to the shameless and duplicitous ego maniac*** to be answered under oath. Questions such as where are your Stanley Cup rings? Who owns the 10 Andy Warhol prints of Mick Jagger and other objets d’art already seized? And what about those reported off-shore bank accounts in the Bahamas and elsewhere? These are questions arising from what Whitmore already knows as well as Puck’s astonishing declaration that he has debts of 19 million bucks and assets of - heh, heh, - $2900!
The other front on which Pocklington is doing battle are two felony counts he is facing for allegedly filing false statements to conceal assets in connection with that same assignment in bankruptcy. He is scheduled to face trial in criminal court on those charges on August 11.
It was reported yesterday that the former insufferable Edmonton sports impresario and ex-director of the right-wing Mickey Mouse think tank known as the Fraser Institute, now wants to be protected by the Constitution of the United States in order to avoid answering the further questions that Whitmore wants to put to him in the bankruptcy proceedings.
Yes, the disgraced bamboozler and legendary welcher now wishes to seek the protection of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, or, ‘take the fifth’ as it has been invoked in other well-known trials or congressional hearings by lawyers and their unsavoury, rough-hewn, swarthy gentlemen clients who often wear bulging pin striped suits, black shirts, white ties, and wide-brimmed fedoras and who sometimes go to jail for very long periods of time.
The dilemma faced by Pocklington is that the answers to the dicey questions about his assets that Whitmore wants to put to him in the bankruptcy proceedings may very well sink him in the criminal trial in August. In the words of Pocklington’s mouthpiece, lawyer Brent Romney, “His [Pocklington’s] testimony may ‘provide a link in the chain of evidence' needed to prosecute him in either federal or state court.” Well, I guess.
This is not to mention that Whitmore’s questions and Pocklington’s answers may also alert a whole slew of Canadian creditors – including the government of Alberta - as to the whereabouts of some of those assets so they can get their grubby little hands on them.
About the assets thus far, Pocklington’s lawyer argues that Pocklington long ago gave some of the stuff – including Inuit art and Buddha sculptures - to his long-suffering wife and therefore it doesn’t belong to him. Pocklington, for his part, disclaims knowledge of the location of the Stanley Cup rings and says they have already been sold. As to the reported off-shore Bahamian bank accounts, Whitmore has asked the Bankruptcy Court to hire a special counsel to chase them down for the creditors.
Anyway, Peter Puck’s miserable life continues. His light at the end of the tunnel may very well be the train.