Baseball player charged with bankruptcy fraud
Former major league baseball player Lenny Dykstra has been charged with federal fraud crimes in relation to a 2009 bankruptcy filing. According to prosecutors, the 48-year-old embezzled over $400,000 worth of personal property and real estate by either hiding, destroying or selling it, without first notifying a bankruptcy trustee, as is required by bankruptcy law.
When Dykstra filed for bankruptcy in July of 2009, his assets were frozen, meaning that any potential sale or significant change in his personal or real property had to be approved by a bankruptcy trustee. However, after he allegedly unloaded a “truckload” of merchandise, including furniture and house fixtures, at a local consignment shop in exchange for case, he was charged with fraud. Among the items Dykstra is accused of having embezzled from his own were sports memorabilia and a $50,000 granite sink.
Dykstra owns the former home of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, currently worth over $18 million. When he filed for bankruptcy, he reportedly had more than $30 million in debt with just $50,000 in assets. He owned several businesses, but had run into financial trouble when business partners had become unreliable and when ventures failed.
The former All-Star played professional baseball for a dozen years, with the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets. He was part of the Mets 1986 World Series team. In 2007, he was accused, but never charged, with steroid use.
If convicted, the federal fraud charges could land the former outfielder in jail for up to five years. He is also facing charges of grand theft auto for allegedly attempting to buy a stolen car. He remains in police custody.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Lenny Dykstra charged with bankruptcy crime”, 15 April 2011