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Ex-Met Dykstra Pleads Not Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud Charges

June 13 (Bloomberg) -- Lenny Dykstra, the former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder, pleaded not guilty to charges he stole or destroyed more than $400,000 worth of property from his bankrupt estate.

Dykstra, 48, entered the plea at his arraignment hearing today, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles. Trial was set for Aug. 9 before U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson, Mrozek said.

The ex-Major League Baseball player was charged in April. Prosecutors said he removed, destroyed and sold property from his $18.5 million mansion after filing for bankruptcy in 2009 in California. Dykstra shipped chandeliers, mirrors, artwork and other items from the mansion to a consignment store, according to court filings.

Last week, the Los Angeles district attorney charged Dykstra with drug possession and grand theft for allegedly trying to lease cars using phony business and credit information.

Dean Gits, a federal public defender assigned to Dykstra’s bankruptcy-fraud case, didn’t immediately return a call to his office.

The case is U.S. v. Dykstra, 11-415, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles). The bankruptcy case is In re Dykstra, 09-18409, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California (San Fernando Valley).

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha. or mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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