Alan Eagleson says he'd still be fighting fraud charges if he had the money
- NHL Collectibles
TORONTO (CP) - Alan Eagleson, the former executive director of the NHL Players' Association who served six months in jail for theft and fraud, says he only entered a guilty plea to avoid a lengthy legal battle.
"If I had millions of dollars, I'd still be fighting it," Eagleson told the Hockey News from his Collingwood, Ont., home. "I mean, I'd have been fighting it until I was 75 and I'd be broke and probably dead."
Eagleson, 69, pleaded guilty in January 1997 in Boston to three counts of fraud and theft involving players' insurance premiums. He was fined $1 million US.
He later pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud in Toronto. Those charges involved skimming Canada Cup advertising and tournament money from Labatt, Hockey Canada and the players' union. He served one-third of an 18-month sentence.
Later, Eagleson was disbarred as a lawyer and he resigned from the Hockey Hall of Fame.
"Whatever happened, it's over, and whatever obligation or debt I had to society, whatever it was, if any, I have paid in full," Eagleson said. "I've paid through the nose, but it's over and I'm on with my life."
Eagleson's full comments will be published in the Sept. 13 edition of the weekly publication.
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