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Former baseball star Lenny Dykstra indicted in bankruptcy fraud case

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Former baseball star Lenny Dykstra indicted in bankruptcy fraud case

2011-05-07 05:25:55 GMT+7 (ICT)

LOS ANGELES (BNO NEWS) -- Former baseball star Lenny Dykstra on Friday was indicted with bankruptcy fraud for allegedly selling items from his $18 million mansion in Ventura County, California, prosecutors said.

Dykstra, 48, was named in a 13-count indictment by a federal grand jury. He was charged with one count of bankruptcy fraud, one count of obstruction of justice, four counts of concealing property from the bankruptcy estate, three counts of embezzlement from the bankruptcy estate, and four counts of making false declarations to the Bankruptcy Court.

The defendant, who played 12 seasons as an outfielder in Major League Baseball (MLB), was arrested on April 14, 2011 by Los Angeles Police officers on unrelated charges at his Encino residence.

On July 7, 2009, the defendant filed for bankruptcy in a United States District Court. The indictment alleges that Dykstra removed, destroyed and sold his Sherwood Estates mansion that was part of the bankruptcy estate without the permission of the bankruptcy trustee.

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 sports memorabilia and personal items, including a truckload of furnishings and fixtures that he had taken from the Lake Sherwood mansion worth over $50,000.

If convicted, Dykstra faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for each count except for obstruction of justice, which carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison. If convicted of all charges, he faces a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison.

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. His bankruptcy case is still pending in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Woodland Hills.


-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-05-07

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