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Lenny Dykstra sentenced in bankruptcy fraud case

In April 2011, this blog reported that former baseball star Lenny Dykstra had been arrested on charges of bankruptcy fraud related to his 2009 bankruptcy case. Some baseball fans in Cincinnati may remember who the centerfielder ran into the wall while the Phillies were playing the Reds in 1991. Dykstra broke his collarbone in the game. More Ohio residents may remember the years the roamed centerfield with both the Mets and Phillies, appearing in several All-Star games and even playing for a World Series champion.

Off the field, the former Major League ballplayer became a self-taught investor. But he fell on hard times. In July 2009, the former player filed for bankruptcy relief listing more than $24 million in assets and more than $37 million in debts. While the case was pending, federal authorities alleged that Dykstra took property from the mansion he had bought from Wayne Gretzky, and sold the personal property that belonged to the bankruptcy estate.

The former ballplayer pled guilty to the bankruptcy fraud charges. He reportedly admitted to taking property from the mansion after it was seized in the bankruptcy proceeding. He also admitted that at least ten creditors suffered combined losses of between $200,000 and $400,000 dollars. Dykstra was facing up to 20 years in federal prison on the bankruptcy fraud and other charges. In the end, he was sentenced December 3 to six-and-one-half months in federal prison.

It is important to note that most bankruptcy cases do not result in federal charges. However, it is equally as important to note that federal officials investigate allegations of bankruptcy fraud and take the matter seriously. The Bankruptcy Code can provide financially distressed Ohio residents with a legal method to obtain a fresh financial start. Many rules are in place in any bankruptcy proceeding. A Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyer can help financially strapped Ohio residents in navigating the rules of a bankruptcy proceeding.

Source: CNN, "Former baseball star Lenny Dykstra sentenced in federal bankruptcy case," Stan Wilson, Dec. 3, 2012

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