Bloomberg News

Lenny Dykstra Faces New Charges in Bankruptcy Fraud Case

April 21, 2012

Lenny Dykstra, the former New York Mets outfielder serving a three-year state prison term for grand theft auto, faces new charges in a federal bankruptcy-fraud case of stealing baseball memorabilia.

Dykstra, 48, is charged in a superseding indictment with embezzling baseball equipment “purported to be World Series- related.” The gloves, balls, bats, batting gloves, helmet and shoes that Dykstra is accused of selling illegally were part of his bankrupt estate, according to the April 17 indictment in federal court in Los Angeles.

The new allegations follow charges last year that Dykstra looted his mansion north of Los Angeles after he filed for bankruptcy in 2009. The former Major League Baseball player is accused of taking $400,000 worth of fixtures, including chandeliers, mirrors, a stove and a grandfather clock from his mansion and secretly selling them.

The charges against Dykstra include bankruptcy fraud, obstruction of justice and money laundering. If convicted on all counts, he could face a prison sentence of as long as 95 years.

Christopher Dybwad, a deputy federal public defender representing Dykstra, didn’t immediately return a call to his office seeking comment on the new charges.

Lewd Conduct

On April 18 in a separate case, Dykstra was sentenced to 270 days in prison after pleading no contest to charges of lewd conduct and assault.

Dykstra told women who came to meet with him in response to advertisements he placed on the Craigslist website for personal assistants and housekeeping services that the job would require giving him massages, according to the Los Angeles city attorney. Dykstra exposed himself to the women and on one occasion held a knife to force a victim to massage him, prosecutors said.

Last year, Dykstra pleaded no contest to charges he tried to lease cars using phony business cards and credit information. While a plea of no contest isn’t an admission of guilt, it is equivalent to a guilty plea as far as possible punishment is concerned.

Dykstra is scheduled to go on trial in the bankruptcy-fraud case in July.

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 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.com.

The case is U.S. v. Dykstra, 11-00415, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net

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


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