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Lenny Dykstra 'unhappy' during jail stint, wants to fight charges

March 1, 2012 |  9:10 am

Lenny Dykstra
Former New York Mets star and financial guru Lenny Dykstra, after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement, wants to challenge those charges on the eve of his sentencing.

Andrew Flier, Dykstra's attorney, said his client says he did nothing wrong and relied on the bad advice of others.

Dykstra spent some time in jail last year after he was charged, and Flier said it was a tough experience for the baseball great.

"Mr. Dykstra was unhappy about the plea that he previously entered into," Flier said. "He did six actual months in jail; he was very unhappy about being in custody. It was very hard on him physically and mentally."

Dykstra, 48, was due to be sentenced Monday by L.A. County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig. He was originally charged with nearly two dozen felony counts and faced up to 12 years in state prison. But after a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining charges at sentencing.

In January 2011, 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.

According to prosecutors, Dykstra and Hymers allegedly provided information from a man who they said was a co-signer at two dealerships, 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, 2011, 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.

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.

He also was charged with one misdemeanor count each of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and unauthorized possession of a syringe.

Flier said that Dykstra, who has been free awaiting sentencing, has been fully compliant with the terms of the court and had been in good spirits.

"He's energetic and tough as nails," Flier said. "It's good to see him like that again. We will litigate on Monday and hopefully prevail."

In September, his accountant Robert 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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-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Lenny Dykstra in July 2010. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times