Monday, May 9, 2011
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Lenny Dykstra, an All-Star outfielder who played for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury that accused him of bankruptcy fraud for allegedly selling items from his $18 million mansion in Ventura County.
Dykstra, 48, whose hardnosed play earned him the nickname “Nails” and who is currently residing in Murietta, was named in a 13-count indictment.
The indictment accused Dykstra of 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 indictment is the result of conduct Dykstra allegedly engaged in after filing a bankruptcy case on July 7, 2009. He originally sought reorganization under Chapter 11, but the case was converted into a Chapter 7 liquidation by the judge.
The indictment alleges that after filing the bankruptcy protection, Dykstra “and others acting at his direction gained access” to his Sherwood Estates mansion in Thousand Oaks, “sometimes by illegal means,” and stripped it. The ex-baseball star and onetime car wash owner and purported stock-picking expert allegedly lied about who stripped the mansion, and denied receiving money for having sold items that were owned by the bankruptcy estate.
“Dykstra knowingly and fraudulently concealed, and willfully caused to be concealed, from creditors, custodians, trustees, marshals, and other officers of the court charged with the control and custody of property, property belonging to the estate of a debtor, namely, chandeliers, mirrors, artwork, a stove, sconces, a grandfather clock, fireplace screens, and andirons,” the indictment alleges.
He is also accused of having removed and concealed property—”namely,two desks, one chair, and a Maitland-Smith brand dresser,” from a Wilshire Blvd. penthouse where he lived after moving out of the mansion, and from an office he rented at Camarillo Airport.
An attorney hired by the bankruptcy trustee estimated in court documents that Dykstra stole and destroyed more than $400,000 worth of property in the estate.
All of the charges in the indictment carry a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison, except for obstruction of justice, which carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Dykstra’s bankruptcy case is still pending in Woodland Hills, the U.S. attorney noted Friday in a statement. He is also facing separate state charges of grand theft of automobiles.
Copyright 2011, Metropolitan News Company