Former baseball star Lenny Dykstra charged for bankruptcy fraud

April 16th, 2011 - 5:45 am ICT by BNO News  

LOS ANGELES — Former baseball star Lenny Dykstra on Thursday was charged with bankruptcy fraud for allegedly selling items from his $18 million mansion in Ventura County, California, prosecutors said Friday.

Dykstra, 48, who played 12 seasons as an outfielder in Major League Baseball (MLB), was arrested on Thursday evening by Los Angeles Police officers on unrelated charges. He was detained at his Encino residence.

The indictment charged Dykstra with one count of embezzling from a bankruptcy estate. On July 7, 2009, the defendant filed for bankruptcy in a United States District Court.

The criminal charge alleges that Dykstra removed, destroyed and sold property that was part of the bankruptcy estate without the permission of the bankruptcy trustee. He is being held on a $500,000 bail.

According to court documents, after the former outfielder filed for bankruptcy, he sold many items belonging to the bankruptcy estate for cash, as well as destroying and hiding other items worth more than $400,000.

When Dykstra filed for bankruptcy, he listed two residences; a home in Westlake Village that he estimated was worth $5.4 million, and a mansion in Lake Sherwood Estates purchased from Janet and Wayne Gretzky that he valued at $18.5 million.

As a result of the bankruptcy filing, the residences and Dykstra’s personal property became part of the bankruptcy estate that would be used to pay off creditors. The defendant was prohibited from liquidating any part of the estate.

However, about a month after filing for bankruptcy, Dykstra was paid cash at a Los Angeles consignment store for personal items, including a truckload of furnishings and fixtures that he had taken from the Lake Sherwood mansion.

In a subsequent hearing, the defendant admitted arranging the sale of sports memorabilia and a furniture that were property of the bankruptcy estate. He also removed a sink and granite from the mansion worth over $50,000.

If convicted, Dykstra faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. His bankruptcy case is still pending in United States Bankruptcy Court in Woodland Hills.

Dykstra was a prominent outfielder in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He played for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies before retiring and becoming a notorious stock picker.

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