Lenny Dykstra receives sentence of 6 1/2 months in bankruptcy fraud case

The Mets' Lenny Dykstra thrusts a fist in The Mets' Lenny Dykstra thrusts a fist in the air as he rounds the bases after his game-winning two-run homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 3 of the NLCS against the Houston Astros. (Oct. 11, 1986) Photo Credit: AP

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Former Met Lenny Dykstra was sentenced Monday to 6 1/2 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution and perform 500 hours of community service after admittedly stealing and selling items from his bankruptcy estate.

The 6 1/2-month prison sentence delivered by U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson in Los Angeles is significantly less than the 30 months prosecutors requested and means Dykstra does not have to serve any additional time than he was already scheduled to serve in his two other unrelated criminal cases.

Dykstra, 49, has been in custody since March, when he was sentenced to 3 years in state prison for masterminding a fraudulent car-lease scheme. A month later, he received a 9-month sentence for exposing himself to women who had answered his Craigslist advertisements for housekeepers and personal assistants.

Noting Dykstra's substance-abuse issues with drugs and alcohol, Pregerson ordered that Dykstra's 6 1/2-month sentence in the bankruptcy fraud case be run concurrently with Dykstra's two other prison sentences, meaning that Dykstra could be released from prison by the middle of next year.

Dykstra, who appeared in court handcuffed and dressed in a white prison-issued jumpsuit, promised the judge he would turn his life around once he is free. "I don't think I'm a bad person," Dykstra said. "I made some bad decisions."

In hopes for a lesser sentence, Dykstra agreed to plead guilty last summer to one count of bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets and money laundering and admitted in court that he stole baseball memorabilia and luxury vanities from his bankruptcy estate, sold them and didn't report the profits.

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Prosecutors had asked the judge for a 30-month prison term, which they said was a "low-end recommendation" and a condition of the deal they cut with Dykstra. He had been facing a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.

Dykstra's ex-wife, Terri, who filed for divorce in 2009 after 25 years of marriage, and his son, Cutter, who plays in the minor leagues for the Nationals, were among the some dozen Dykstra supporters in court for the sentencing. Dykstra gave his supporters a thumbs-up as he was led out of the courtroom following the proceedings.

Dykstra experienced a vicious downward spiral after filing for bankruptcy four years ago, which came after his failed magazine venture and overextending his finances to buy Wayne Gretzky's Thousand Oaks, Calif., mansion for $17.425 million.

Deputy federal public defender Hilary Potashner, one of Dykstra's attorneys, told the judge Monday that Dykstra has learned a lesson from his fall and paid a greater price because of his celebrity status. She said he was "beaten to a pulp" during a recent fight while in Los Angeles County jail.

But Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the L.A. County sheriff's department, told the judge that Dykstra was the aggressor in the fight between Dykstra and some deputies and had to be restrained.

"There's just a sort of spectrum of conduct I can't understand," said Pregerson, the judge. "What I am trying to understand is: Who is Mr. Dykstra?" With AP

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