Dykstra indicted for bankruptcy fraud

Former Mets and Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra was indicted by a federal grand jury Friday for bankruptcy fraud for allegedly selling items from his $18 million mansion in southern California.

Dykstra, who filed for bankruptcy in July 2009, allegedly removed, destroyed and sold property that was part of the bankruptcy estate without the permission of the trustee, according to the Department of Justice.

The 48-year-old is accused of one count of bankruptcy fraud, one count of obstruction of justice, four counts of concealing property from the bankruptcy estate, three counts of embezzlement from the bankruptcy estate, and four counts of making false declarations to the Bankruptcy Court.

If convicted on all 13 counts, the former three-time All-Star could face up to 80 years in prison.

His attorney, Mark Werksman, accused the government late Friday of "using an indictment to punish a debtor" and described the criminal charges as "heavy-handed and overbearing," the Los Angeles Times reported.

"This is payback by the US government to Lenny Dykstra’s resistance to the trustee’s dismantling of his property and assets in the bankruptcy," Werksman said.

"When all the facts come out, we’ll show that Mr. Dykstra acted in good faith and behaved properly."

Dykstra, who after his playing days gained notoriety for his stock-picking acumen and failed business dealings, allegedly sold several items belonging to the bankruptcy estate for cash.

He also stands accused of destroying and hiding other items from the estate. An attorney hired by the bankruptcy trustee said Dykstra stole and destroyed more than $400,000 worth of property in the estate, according to the DOJ release.

Dykstra is free on $150,000 bond and staying in Murietta, Calif., Werksman said.

Nicknamed "Nails" during his 12-year career, Dykstra was a member of the World Series-winning Mets team in 1986 and made it to the World Series a second time with the Phillies in 1993.

Dykstra was alleged to have used steroids during his career in the 2007 Mitchell Report, which detailed rampant use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout baseball.