"I was born to make money."
- Lenny Dykstra, 2008
"The corrupt world of bankruptcy is best described as 'the death chamber.' "
- Lenny Dysktra, 2011
FEW WHO followed Lenny Dykstra's exploits in the old days would have foreseen an outcome where the former Phillies star would have become a car-wash impresario or a provider of investment tips for thestreet.com, with a net worth of more than $50 million.
If the on-field style that earned him the nickname "Nails" was how he ran his finances, they might have instead projected the Dykstra who filed for bankruptcy in 2009, claiming he owed more than $31 million and had only $50,000 in assets.
The news yesterday that Dykstra was charged by the Los Angeles County Prosecutor's Office with 25 counts of trying to lease cars using phony business and credit information and with drug possession is another step in the downward spiral that has enveloped Dykstra recently.
There have been allegations that he wrote a bad check for $1,000 to a female escort and that he forced his housekeeper to give him oral sex on Saturdays, and his claim that he was "tortured" during a recent stay in prison.
"Over the last 2 years, they have basically stole everything from me; my family, my kids, my homes, my cars, my businesses, my reputation, my money, my life; but what they can never steal is my 'HEART and my FIGHT' and at the end of the day, I will win and I will win big!" Dykstra wrote recently in a letter to his fans he titled, "Nailed, Jailed and Bailed."
The initial bankruptcy filing led to a whirlwind of legal moves, allegations that Dysktra stole property after declaring bankruptcy and subsequent denials from him. He and his attorneys have claimed authorities are motivated by retribution stemming from a dispute with the bankruptcy trustee.
"Bottom line: when all of the evidence is brought forward, the jury will be told by the judge to make an example out of these corrupt people so this does not continue to happen to other Americans," Dykstra wrote.
A month after being indicted in federal court on charges related to bankruptcy fraud, Dykstra was taken into custody during a hearing in San Fernando Superior Court on the new charges. He was jailed on $500,000 bail with a bail-review hearing set for Friday.
Two co-defendants were charged in connection with the alleged auto theft but not with drug crimes, said a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney.
All three men are scheduled to be arraigned June 16.
The co-defendants are Robert Hymers, 27, Dykstra's accountant, and Christopher Gavanis, 30, a friend. They are charged in connection with the auto theft, but not the drug crimes, the spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman said Dykstra had not obtained a lawyer to represent him in the case.
Dykstra is charged with five counts of attempted grand theft auto, eight counts of filing false financial statements, four counts of identity theft, three counts of grand theft auto and three counts of possession of a controlled substance. All are felonies.
In addition, he is charged with one misdemeanor count each of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and unauthorized possession of a syringe.
If convicted, Dykstra faces up to 12 years in state prison.
The state case is likely to be delayed until the federal case against Dykstra is resolved, a spokeswoman said. Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles last month brought 13 counts against Dykstra, including bankruptcy fraud, obstruction of justice, concealing property from the bankruptcy estate, and other charges. If found guilty of all charges, Dykstra faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.
According to prosecutors, beginning in January, the three tried to lease various high-end automobiles from several dealerships by allegedly providing fraudulent information and claiming credit through a phony business, Home Free Systems.
At two dealerships, Dykstra and Hymers allegedly provided information from a man they claimed was a co-signer but who had not authorized his name to be used.
Leases were not approved at two dealerships. However, all three men allegedly drove off with three cars at one company by providing fraudulent information.
When Dykstra was arrested April 14 by LAPD detectives investigating the case, they executed a search warrant at his Encino home. Police allegedly found cocaine and Ecstasy along with Somatropin, a synthetic human growth hormone.
The next day, the Justice Department announced its case against him. He was released from custody April 19 and then was immediately arrested by federal authorities, made a court appearance and released, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. No charges were filed by the state at the time.
Obviously, Dykstra's view is different:
"The theft was committed by them as they stole my car that I was leasing from Ford. Heck, it was only a Ford Flex," Dykstra wrote.
"Are they allowed to steal it when they brought no charges? Are they allowed to shuffle me from jail to jail in what was left of my street clothes they made me wear for 7 days without even being permitted to take a shower? Are they allowed to then lock me up in a cell at three different courthouses, on three different days, and not even let me see a judge? Are they allowed to physically and mentally assault me and tie me up like I was some kind of animal 'because they thought it was funny?' Are they allowed to torture me to the point where two nurses happen to be walking by and saw me - coming to my rescue - took my blood pressure and it registered at 180 over 120?
"I told them if you are trying to kill me then you better put a bullet in my head because I am not backing down, torture me all you want, I am stronger than you will ever know. So, they kept going, almost like the movies - except this was a real living nightmare!"
A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department denied the allegations of torture and said Dykstra was welcome then - or now - to file a complaint about his treatment.
With Dykstra, you never know what happens next.