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October 20, 2011

Former MLB Player Pleads in Auto Theft Case

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , , — fayarfa @ 2:09 am

SAN FERNANDO – Former New York Mets star Lenny Dykstra pleaded no contest today to three counts of grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement and admitted the loss was more than $100,000, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Dykstra, 48, entered his plea before Judge Cynthia Ulfig, who released him pending sentencing on Jan. 20, 2012, said Deputy District Attorney Alex Karkanen with the Auto Insurance Fraud Division. As part of the plea, Dykstra faces up to four years in state prison, Karkanen said.

Beginning in January, Dykstra and two co-defendants tried to lease various high-end automobiles from several area dealerships by providing fraudulent information and claiming credit through a phony business, Home Free Systems.

At two dealerships, Dykstra and Robert Hymers, 27, his accountant, provided information from a man they claimed was a co-signer but who had not authorized his name to be used. The leases were not approved.

However, at a San Fernando Valley auto dealer, Dykstra, Hymers and a third defendant, Christopher Gavanis, 30, a friend of Dykstra’s, were able to drive off with three cars by providing fraudulent information to the dealer.

When LAPD detectives investigating the case executed a search warrant at his Encino home on April 14, the day he was arrested, they allegedly found cocaine and Ecstasy along with Somatropin, a synthetic human growth hormone.

Dykstra was 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 was charged with one misdemeanor count each of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and unauthorized possession of a syringe.

In exchange for his plea, the remaining charges will be dismissed at sentencing. If Dykstra fails to appear for sentencing, he faces up to six years in state prison.

In September, Hymers pleaded no contest to one felony count of identity theft and Gavanis pleaded no contest to one felony count of filing a false financial statement. Their sentencing was put over for a year.

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