Dykstra sentenced in bankruptcy case
Former MLB star sentenced to 6 1/2 months in federal custody
Lenny Dykstra, the former New York Mets outfielder who became a successful self-taught investor, was sentenced Monday to 6 1/2 months in federal custody following bankruptcy fraud and other federal charges, authorities announced Monday.
Dykstra, 49, faced 20 years in prison but prosecutors recommended 2 1/2 years following his guilty plea to three felony counts -- bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets and money laundering, according to U.S. Attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek.
Dykstra is already serving a three-year state prison sentence after pleading no contest in July to grand theft auto in a separate case.
About the case
The federal indictment stemmed from a bankruptcy case that Dykstra filed on July 7, 2009. Dykstra was accused of removing, destroying and selling property that was part of the bankruptcy estate without the permission of the bankruptcy trustee.
In the bankruptcy filing, Dykstra had listed assets of $24.6 million and overall debts of $37.1 million. Among the assets listed were two residences: a Ventura County mansion in Lake Sherwood Estates he had purchased from hockey legend Wayne Gretzky valued at $18.5 million, and a home in Westlake Village that he estimated was worth $5.4 million.
During his financial turmoil, Dykstra's personal property became part of the bankruptcy estate that would be used to pay off creditors.
In his guilty plea in July, Dykstra specifically admitted he committed bankruptcy fraud by lying about whether he had taken and sold items from his $18 million Sherwood mansion after creditors seized the property. Dykstra also admitted that there were at least 10 creditors who were victims of his crimes, and those victims each lost between $200,000 and $400,000.
Dykstra, who was nicknamed "Nails" for his all-out playing style, was a key member of the New York Mets team that won the 1986 World Series. By the time he retired after 12 seasons, he had earned at least $36.5 million while a major leaguer, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
Life after baseball
As a self-taught financial analyst, Dykstra proclaimed himself a financial guru and began writing a stock-picking website column. His prominence soared as a sports celebrity, entrepreneur and popular guest on numerous financial news broadcasts. In 2008, Dykstra began publishing the Players Club, a glossy financial advice magazine exclusively for pro athletes to help them with wealth management and investment banking.
But Dykstra seemed to lose control of his extravagant jet-setting lifestyle during the housing bust.
When Dykstra filed for bankruptcy in 2009, his only income was a $5,700 monthly pension from Major League Baseball, records show. As part of the federal sentence, U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson ordered Dykstra to perform 500 hours of community service and pay $200,000 in restitution.
He also was sentenced earlier this year to nine months in jail after pleading no contest to charged of indecent exposure to women he met through Craigslist.
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Bonds: 'I do really care' about Hall of Fame
All-time home run king now eligible for induction
During his playing days, Barry Bonds never worried much about getting chummy with baseball writers.
Now those scribes hold the key to a place he'd love to enter: the Hall of Fame.
Bonds was announced Wednesday as one of the first-time candidates for the Hall, and baseball's all-time home run king said he hopes the Jan. 9 announcement will include news that he will be inducted.
His odds, however, are considered long due to his alleged association with performance-enhancing drugs, charges Bonds has repeatedly denied.
"I do really care," Bonds told MLB.com about making the Hall of Fame. "I may say I don't, but I do really care. I've been through a lot in my life so not too many things bother me. Making the Hall of Fame, would it be something that's gratifying because of what I've sacrificed? Sure. Baseball has been a big part of our lives. We've sacrificed our bodies. It's the way we made our living."
Bonds' records include 762 career homers and a 73-homer season. He was a seven-time National League Most Valuable Player.
His legacy is largely in tatters, though, due to his alleged involvement with PEDs. Bonds is appealing a federal conviction on an obstruction of justice charge that was related to his denial of involvement with illegal drugs. He was acquitted on other charges.
As for his image problem, Bonds told MLB.com, "I can't turn back the clock now. Time has passed. Wounds for me have healed."
The controversy makes it unlikely Bonds will receive the necessary 75 percent of the vote from longtime members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America to make the Hall of Fame.
"I don't even know how to explain it. The world has become so negative," Bonds told MLB.com. "One day, I'll be able to say things the right way. But it's tough when you have so many people out there who don't want to turn the page and want to be angry at you forever. I don't understand why it continues on. What am I doing wrong?
"I can sit here and say, 'You know what? Baseball is great. I love it.' I can sit here and say in a very kind way that I'm sorry about the way things ended. I can sit here and say that I respect the Hall of Fame, which I do. But I don't understand all the controversy we're having about it. For what reason? What's there to be gained by all of this? What's the point?"
In addition to Bonds, two other controversial figures from baseball's so-called "steroids era" are new to the Hall of Fame ballot: pitcher Roger Clemens and slugger Sammy Sosa.
Other candidates who might have a better chance of induction include Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling, Jack Morris and Jeff Bagwell.
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