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Dykstra pleads not guilty in fraud case

  |   June 13, 2011 at 7:53 PM
LOS ANGELES, June 13 (UPI) -- Former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra Monday pleaded not guilty to bankruptcy fraud in a Los Angeles federal court.

Dykstra, 48, stands accused of stripping his $18.5 million mansion of chandeliers, artwork, high-end furniture and granite before declaring bankruptcy.

The former three-time all-star, who was a member of the Mets' 1986 World Championship team, was represented by a public defender at the hearing after declaring financial hardship, the New York Daily News reported.

The former player-turned-financial adviser appeared at the hearing in orange jail jumpsuit.

He had been arrested and charged last week with two dozen counts of fraud, grand theft and drug possession in an unrelated state case, the newspaper said. In that case, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Dykstra and two other men tried to lease high-end automobiles from local dealerships by allegedly providing fraudulent information and claiming credit through a bogus business.

Dykstra could spend up to 12 years in state prison if convicted on those charges.

The outfielder was a career .285 hitter with 1,298 hits and 404 RBI in a 12-year career with the Mets and Philadelphia.

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