Crime

Lenny Dykstra Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Former baseball All-Star Lenny Dykstra has been sentenced to three years in prison after a judge refused to allow him to withdraw his no contest plea on charges of grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement.

Dykstra tried to lease high-end cars by lying about his finances and claiming credit through a phony business.

"He obviously didn't have the money to get the vehicles," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig said during sentencing. "His conduct was indeed criminal."

Dykstra tried to withdraw his plea, saying he would be cleared of any wrongdoing, but the judge wouldn't allow it. The Associated Press reports Dykstra made "a rambling and impassioned plea for probation," which the judge obviously rejected.

Dykstra's lawyer said the former Met and Phillie was singled out because he is famous.

"No way this wasn't a probationary case," Andrew Flier said. "To give him state prison is outrageous. I find it disgusting."

It is the end of a precipitous fall for Dykstra, who was flying high following his retirement -- a multi-millionaire businessman and investor who advised athletes on what to do with their money.

But then he filed for bankruptcy, claiming debts of $31 million and assets of just $50,000. Various legal problems followed.

"I do have remorse for some of the things I've done," Dykstra said. "But because I wasn't a perfect person am I a criminal? Everyone wants to make me out to be a monster."