Dykstra Pleads Not Guilty To Grand Theft Auto Charges

SAN FERNANDO (CBS) — Former Major League outfielder Lenny Dykstra pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of grand theft auto and 24 other criminal counts for allegedly trying to lease cars using phony business and credit information.

The 48-year-old ex-baseball star — who pleaded not guilty Monday to federal bankruptcy charges stemming from the alleged sale of property from his $18 million mansion in Ventura County — remains jailed on $5 million bail pending his next appearance July 11 in San Fernando Superior Court.

Dykstra, who played for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, was charged June 6 along with his accountant, Robert Hymers, 27, and a friend, Christopher Gavanis, 30, with trying to lease high-end vehicles from several area dealerships by providing false information and claiming credit through a phony business, Home Free Systems.

Dykstra and Hymers allegedly provided information at two dealerships from a man who they wrongly claimed was a co-signer.

The three allegedly drove off with cars from one company by providing false information, while leases were not approved at two other dealerships.

During a search warrant served at Dysktra’s Encino home in connection with his arrest April 14, Los Angeles police detectives found cocaine and Ecstasy, along with the synthetic human growth hormone, Somatropin, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Dykstra is charged with eight counts of filing false financial statements, five counts of attempted grand theft auto, four counts of identity theft and three counts each of grand theft auto and possession of a controlled substance — all felonies.

He also faces one misdemeanor count each of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and unauthorized possession of a syringe.

If convicted, he faces up to 12 years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Hymers is charged with 17 felony counts, including grand theft auto and identity theft, while Gavanis faces six felony counts, including grand theft auto and false financial statements.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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