The 'Eagle' Has Landed

By pleading guilty, Eagleson, a towering presence in Canadian hockey for 25 years, is admitting to lining his pockets with money that belonged to the players he was sworn to faithfully represent, the U.S. Justice Department said.

www.cbc.ca
January 6, 1998

The 'Eagle' Has Landed

Alan Eagleson, a Toronto lawyer who until a few years ago was the most powerful man in professional hockey, will begin serving jail time this week for fraud, says one of the American prosecutors in the case.

Eagleson, who is 64, was set to plead guilty to various charges both in the U.S. and Canada, starting in U.S. federal court.

"He'll plead guilty today in Boston to three counts of fraud," says assistant United States attorney Paul Kelly.

"Then he'll plead guilty tomorrow morning in Toronto to fraud and theft. He'll be sentenced to serve no less than 18 months incarceration in Canada, which I believe he'll commence to serve either tomorrow or
Thursday."

In addition to the jail time, Eagleson must also pay a $1 million fine, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Still, Kelly said the most important element of the plea-bargain and sentence is the "a public acknowledgment" of wrongdoing.

By pleading guilty, Eagleson, a towering presence in Canadian hockey for 25 years, is admitting to lining his pockets with money that belonged to the players he was sworn to faithfully represent, the U.S. Justice Department said.

"It's so important for these players and victims to have some closure by having him stand up and once and for all admit that he stole money from the people who trusted him."

But it's a bitter-sweet ending for Former Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe, one of many NHL veterans who blame Eagleson for their puny pension payments.

"Justice is finally getting served," said Howe. "He let a lot of people down. It's too bad. He had all the power in the world and all the respect in the world and he let it go."

One of the people Eagleson let down was NHL veteran Rick Hampton. Hampton was 17 years old when he and his dad chose Alan Eagleson to be his agent. In the mid 1970's Rick was one of the best young hockey players in Canada.

Alan Eagleson negotiated a $100,000 dollar a year contract with the NHL team the California Golden Seals.

Eagleson paid Rick $400 dollars a month and told him he was investing the rest of the money so that Rick would have financial security when he retired. He promised Rick he would be a millionaire.

But when Rick retired Eagleson told him that there was no money left.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars had simply disappeared.

"When I left Eagleson I was broke, there was nothing left, " he says. "It was mind-boggling."

Rick Hampton is now 41 years old and works at an arena in King City, Ontario.

The guilty pleas, jail term and fines won't end Alan Eagleson's plunge from hockey grace.

Eagleson has been asked to resign from the sport's hall of fame, the Lawrence, Massachusetts, Eagle-Tribune reported today. In addition, a Calgary Reform MP has called for the return of his Order of
Canada medal.

Deepak Obhrai said Eagleson is a discredit to the country and undeserving of Canada's highest honor. It would be the first time that an hall of famer was given the boot, and also a first if he's stripped of his medal.

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Risks: Convicted fraud artist, Credence goods: taking advantage of the innocents, Alan Eagleson, Fraudster lawyer, Slap on the wrist for white-collar crime, Trust, National press coverage, Canada, 19980106 The eagle

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