Former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder
Lenny Dykstra was charged on Thursday with embezzling from a bankruptcy estate.
His punishment could be up to five years in federal prison if convicted.
Dykstra, who bought a mansion once owned by hockey star
Wayne Gretzky, filed for bankruptcy in 2009. He scheduled debts of more than
$31 million and only $50,000 in assets.
The charges include that Dykstra hid, sold or destroyed
more than $400,000 worth of items without permission of the court or the
bankruptcy trustee. The items ranged from sports memorabilia to a $50,000 sink.
Dykstra spent 12 years in the majors and was a major part
in helping the Mets win the World Series in 1986. A three-time All-Star, he had
the nickname "Nails" and was known for his rowdy behavior.
After retiring, Dykstra had a number of business
ventures, including owning a car wash, wrote a stock-picking column on TheStreet.com,
a financial website founded by TV host Jim Cramer and an investment service for
other big leaguers.
Lesson: You fall under the
supervision of the bankruptcy court and a bankruptcy trustee (in most
individual cases) when you file for bankruptcy protection. You must be on your
best behavior and remember that you cannot do anything out of the ordinary with
your assets. And remember, the more debts that you have and are attempting to
discharge, the bigger target you are. This is especially true if you are a
articles about consumer debt by Ted Connolly, co-author of The Road Out of Debt
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