Lenny Dykstra to face state fraud charges
Baseball legend-turned-financial guru Lenny Dykstra, already facing federal fraud allegations, will be charged Monday with two dozen state fraud, drug and auto theft allegations, law enforcement sources said.
Dykstra was arrested in April by the Los Angeles Police Department's commercial crimes division on grand theft charges related to the purchase of vehicles through fraudulent means.
He was charged the same month with federal bankruptcy fraud for allegedly selling pieces of his estate, said officials with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Dykstra, who helped the New York Mets win the 1986 World Series and later became a celebrity stock picker and entrepreneur, was charged with one count of embezzling from a bankruptcy estate.
"Dykstra admitted in a bankruptcy hearing to having arranged the sale of sports memorabilia and a dresser that were property of the bankruptcy estate," prosecutors said. "And Dykstra '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."
As his baseball career wound down, Dykstra gained success as a businessman, first with a luxury car wash in Corona that the ballplayer dubbed "the Taj Mahal” of car washes. He then expanded the business to other parts of Southern California and in 2007 sold it to investors.
Dykstra also took his head-first style to Wall Street after teaching himself financial analysis and striking up a friendship with CNBC "Mad Money” host Jim Cramer, who hired Dykstra to write a stock-picking column.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Lenny Dykstra in 2010. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times