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Lenny Dykstra reaches deal over alleged car thefts

October 19, 2011 |  4:52 pm

Lenny Dykstra pleads not guilty to indecent exposure

Former New York Mets star and financial guru Lenny Dykstra pleaded no contest Wednesday to three counts of grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement in a scheme to obtain luxury automobiles. He faces up to four years in prison.

Dykstra, 48, entered his plea before L.A. County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig, who  released him pending sentencing on Jan. 20, 2012, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Alex Karkanen. The case is among the baseball star's mounting legal woes, which include criminal charges involving federal bankruptcy fraud and indecent exposure.

In January, Dykstra, his accountant Robert Hymers, 27, and friend Christopher Gavanis, 30, tried to lease high-end automobiles from several area dealerships by allegedly providing fraudulent information and claiming credit through a phony business, prosecutors said.

At two dealerships, Dykstra and Hymers allegedly provided information from a man who they said was a co-signer, even though they were not authorized to use his name. Prosecutors said Dykstra failed in his initial attempts to lease a new Mercedes Benz S-550 and new Cadillac, but the men succeeded in obtaining a Ford Flex, a Lincoln and a Ford Mustang.

Dykstra was arrested April 14 by Los Angeles Police Department detectives while serving a search warrant at his Encino home. Authorities allegedly found cocaine and Ecstasy along with Somatropin, a synthetic human growth hormone.

Dykstra was originally charged with five counts of attempted grand theft auto, eight counts of filing false financial statements, four counts of identity theft, three counts of grand theft auto and three counts of possession of a controlled substance. In addition, he was charged with one misdemeanor count each of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and unauthorized possession of a syringe. He originally faced up to 12 years in state prison. In exchange for his plea, the remaining charges will be dismissed at sentencing.

If Dykstra fails to appear for sentencing, he faces up to six years in state prison.

In September, Hymers pleaded no contest to one felony count of identity theft, and Gavanis pleaded no contest to one felony count of filing a false financial statement. Their sentencing was put over for a year.

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-- Richard Winton

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