Dykstra Indicted for Bankruptcy Fraud

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – A federal grand jury indicted former Major League ballplayer Lenny Dykstra on Friday on charges of bankruptcy fraud: looting more than $400,000 worth of property from his $18 million mansion in Ventura County.

     Dykstra, 48, filed for bankruptcy in July 2009, listing $30 million in debts, and moved out of the $18.5 million mansion in Lake Sherwood Estates that he bought from hockey star Wayne Gretzky and his wife.
     Though the homes became part of the bankruptcy estate at that point, and Dykstra was prohibited from liquidating any part of it, prosecutors say the All-Star outfielder and several unnamed co-conspirators proceeded to loot the home of its valuables – eventually selling or destroying about $400,000 worth of goods.
     He allegedly brought some of these items to the penthouse apartment he had moved into on Wilshire Avenue in Los Angeles, and he split the proceeds of some of the sales with a co-conspirator, referred to in the indictment as V.M.
     Then Nails, as he was known to fans of the Mets and Phillies, lied about his actions.
     Last month, these charges were publicized in an affidavit from an FBI agent, which a U.S. attorney released while announcing Dykstra’s arrest for allegedly trying to buy a stolen car.
     Items that Dykstra allegedly removed from the mansion, located on Newbern Court in Thousand Oaks, Calif., include sports memorabilia, chandeliers, electronics, artwork, furniture, a stove and a grandfather clock, according to the 13-count indictment.
     Dykstra faces 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.
     With the exception of the obstruction-of-justice charge, which carries a maximum 20-year sentence, each charge carries its own five-year term. Dykstra’s bankruptcy case is still pending in a Woodland Hills-based U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
     Last year, Dykstra sued Washington Mutual, claiming that the bank persuaded him take out a loan he could not afford so it could seize his home when he defaulted.
     Dykstra was a fan favorite in the MLB, with a .285 hitting average and 285 total stolen bases. He was runner-up for National League MVP in 1993 with the Phillies, and hit a famous lead-off home run in the World Series against the Red Sox in 1986, which the Mets won.

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