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Lenny Dykstra Accused of Bankruptcy Fraud

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Former Major League ballplayer Lenny Dykstra is accused of embezzling from a bankruptcy estate: selling and destroying more than $400,000 worth of stuff from his $18 million mansion in Ventura County, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Dykstra, 48, of Encino, played for the Mets and Phillies. He later "gained notoriety as a stock picker," the U.S. attorney said in a statement announcing Dykstra's arrest on unrelated charges, which the U.S. attorney did not elaborate.

Dykstra filed for bankruptcy in July 2009. "According to court documents, after Dykstra filed for bankruptcy, he sold many items belonging to the bankruptcy estate for cash, as well as destroying and hiding other items. An attorney hired by the bankruptcy trustee estimates that Dykstra stole and destroyed more than $400,000 worth of property in the estate, according to the criminal complaint," the U.S. attorney said.

Dykstra listed two residences in his bankruptcy petition: an $18.5 million mansion in Lake Sherwood Estates that he bought from hockey star Wayne Gretzky and his wife, and a home in Westlake Village worth $5.4 million. The homes became part of the bankruptcy estate when Dykstra filed, and he was prohibited from liquidating any part of it.

But prosecutors say Dykstra sold "a truckload of furnishings and fixtures" from the Lake Sherwood house, for cash, at a Los Angeles consignment store, about a month after he filed, and that he "'ripped out' a $50,000 sink from his mansion and took granite from the mansion and installed it in an office he set up at the Camarillo airport after he had filed for bankruptcy protection."

The allegations are contained in an affidavit from an FBI agent.

Bankruptcy fraud is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison.


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