Bloomberg News

Ex-Met Dykstra Charged With Grand Theft, Drug Possession

June 06, 2011

(Updates with criminal charges in third paragraph.)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Lenny Dykstra, a former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder, was charged with grand theft for allegedly trying to lease cars using phony business and credit information and with drug possession.

Dykstra, 48, who was indicted on a separate federal bankruptcy fraud charge May 5, tried to lease high-end cars from several dealerships by providing fraudulent information and claiming credit through a phony business, Home Free Systems, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Alex Karkanen said today in a statement.

The ex-ballplayer was charged with five counts of attempted grand theft auto, eight counts of filing false financial statements, four counts of identity theft, three counts of grand theft auto and three counts of possession of a controlled substance, according to the e-mailed statement. Police found cocaine, the drug Ecstasy and Somatropin, a synthetic human growth hormone, during a search of his home in Encino, California, prosecutors said.

Dysktra and his co-defendants took a 2011 Ford Flex, a 2011 Lincoln MKS, and a 2011 Ford Mustang, and attempted to take two 2011 Cadillacs and a 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-350, according to the criminal complaint.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison. Mark Werksman, an attorney for Dykstra, didn’t immediately return a message left at his office.

Dykstra is scheduled to be arraigned today at Los Angeles County Superior Court, said Karkanen, who will ask that bail be set at $500,000 for the ex-ballplayer.

Grand Jury Indictment

Dykstra was accused in a grand jury indictment issued May 5 of looting his Sherwood Estates mansion in Thousand Oaks, California, lying to a bankruptcy trustee about who stripped it and denying selling items owned by the bankruptcy estate. Dykstra filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2009 in Woodland Hills, California.

Dykstra, known as “Nails,” joined the Mets in 1985 and helped the team win the World Series the following year. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1989 to 1996.

The outfielder finished second to former San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds in National League Most Valuable Player Award voting in 1993, when the Phillies reached the World Series to face the Toronto Blue Jays. Dykstra had a career batting average of .285, with 81 home runs and 404 runs batted in, according to baseball-reference.

The case is People v. Dykstra, PA070678, California Superior Court (Los Angeles County).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Charles Carter

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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