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Lenny Dykstra faces up to 20 years in prison on fraud conviction

June 28, 2012 |  1:52 pm

Lenny Dykstra plea deal

Former New York Mets star and self-styled financial guru Lenny Dykstra has agreed to plead guilty to three of 15 federal bankruptcy fraud charges he was facing, according to a plea deal unsealed Thursday.

As part of the agreement, Dykstra has acknowledged he took more $200,000 of assets out of a home and other locations as he struggled to battle numerous creditors.

Dykstra has agreed to plead guilty to bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets, and money
laundering. He could face up to 20 years in prison, but is likely to be sentence to far less because of his plea.

According to agreements, Dykstra sold sports memorabilia from the attic of his Ventura County mansion. Dykstra acknowledged depriving creditors of at least $200,000 but less than $400,000, prosecutors alleged. Typically, a person in bankruptcy can't touch assets that are part of the case so that they are available to repay creditors.

Dykstra helped the New York Mets win the 1986 World Series and later became a celebrity stock picker before his finances dissolved in chaos in 2009. He has racked up numerous criminal charges in recent years.

Nicknamed "Nails" by baseball fans for his raucous style on the diamond, the Garden Grove native turned to bankruptcy court in July 2009 to try to save his lavishly furnished Sherwood Country Club estate, which he bought from hockey legend Wayne Gretzky for $18.5 million at the height of the last housing boom.

Despite those efforts and a protracted and ongoing court battle with court officials and numerous creditors, the home was sold in 2010 to the private equity firm Index Investors, one of Dykstra's creditors.

His fall from grace during the last two years has resulted in conviction for a car finance scam and separate charges of lewd conduct and assault with a deadly weapon.

He has already been sentenced to three years in state prison. He pleaded no contest to grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement. During the sentencing, Dykstra addressed the court.

"Did I do something I'm not proud of? Yes," Dykstra said. "Am I a criminal? No."


Lenny Dykstra sentenced to three years in prison

Lenny Dykstra pleads no contest to lewd conduct, assault

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

-- Richard Winton 

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