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Former Phillies outfielder Dykstra charged with embezzling

Sat., April 16, 2011

It’s hard to say where the bottom is for Lenny Dykstra, but here’s a new low: The former Phillies outfielder was charged this week in federal court with embezzling from his bankrupt estate and also was arrested in an unrelated grand theft investigation. He spent Thursday night in jail in Los Angeles and reportedly remained there Friday, held without bail.

The criminal case filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles stemmed from a bankruptcy case that Dykstra filed on July 7, 2009. The complaint alleges that Lenny Kyle Dykstra, 48, currently residing in Encino, Calif., had “removed, destroyed and sold property” from his $18.5 million mansion in Ventura County that was part of the bankruptcy estate without the permission of the bankruptcy trustee.

The Associated Press reported that Dykstra was arrested Thursday at his primary residence, in Encino, in the unrelated local grand theft investigation and was being held Friday without bail. Local prosecutors haven’t filed the latter case.

Dykstra’s fall was detailed further. The complaint stated that Dykstra, who once touted himself after his playing days as a stock-picking virtuoso, said he had sold memorabilia because he “needed to eat.”

It also states that the day after Dykstra filed for bankruptcy, he delivered “chandeliers, mirrors, artwork, a stove, sconces, a grandfather clock, fireplace screens, andirons and potted trees” to a consignment store. The owner of the store said Dykstra “had showed up with a rented U-Haul van or truck and had opened up the back and asked the owner how much he would pay for the items contained therein,” according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges Dykstra ripped a $50,000 sink out of a wall in his mansion and took it to his office, and that Dykstra claimed his housekeeper’s son stole numerous items from the mansion.

Dykstra said he had not reported the theft to authorities because of his long-standing relationship with his housekeeper. The housekeeper denied her son had stolen any property. She stated she had “firsthand knowledge” of Dykstra having disposed of personal property before and after the first meeting of creditors.

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