Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 3/5/12
SAN FERNANDO, Calif. -- Disgraced ex-New York Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra on Monday was sentenced to three years in a California state prison after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig sentenced Dykstra after refusing to allow him to withdraw his plea and said the scam to lease high-end automobiles from dealerships by providing fraudulent information and claiming credit through a phony business showed sophistication and extensive planning. "He obviously didn't have the money to get the vehicles," Ulfig said. "His conduct was indeed criminal." Dykstra, 49, has had a series of recent legal troubles and the prison sentence is part of a post-career downward spiral for the stocky slugger known as "Nails" that has included a stint at a sober living facility. In a rambling and impassioned plea for probation, Dykstra said he has tried to make amends for his past transgressions and said he would be cleared of any wrongdoing had his motion to withdraw his plea been granted. "I'm doing everything in my power to be a better person," he said. Dykstra, wearing a gray suit with a blue shirt, was immediately remanded to custody as he walked into the court's back room, hands in his pockets. Dykstra has earned nearly a year's worth of credit toward his sentence for time already served. Following the hearing, defense attorney Andrew Flier said Dykstra was singled out because he's a celebrity. "No way this wasn't a probationary case," Flier said. "To give him state prison is outrageous. I find it disgusting." Dykstra initially pleaded not guilty to 25 counts after police arrested him and found cocaine, Ecstasy and synthetic human growth hormone at his Los Angeles home last April. He changed his plea in October to no contest and in exchange prosecutors dropped 21 counts. Prosecutors said Dykstra and his accountant, Robert Hymers, 27, provided information at two dealerships 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 another auto dealer, Dykstra, Hymers and Christopher Gavanis, 30, a friend of Dykstra's, were able to drive off with three cars by providing fraudulent information to the dealer. Hymers and Gavanis have entered no contest pleas as well and are awaiting sentencing. Ulfig noted Dykstra wasn't dissuaded the first two times with the scam and "hit a home run" the third time. Those cars, Flier argued, were later returned and only depreciated in value. In arguing for the maximum four-year sentence, Deputy District Attorney Alexander Karkanen said Dykstra has used his charm and celebrity status to get what he wants and has never been accountable for his actions. "I'm glad Lenny Dykstra has been held responsible for his behavior," Karkanen said outside of court. "This is a first for him." Dykstra still faces federal bankruptcy charges and is scheduled to stand trial this summer. He filed for bankruptcy a few years ago, claiming he owed more than 31 million and had only 50,000 in assets. Federal prosecutors said that after filing, Dykstra hid, sold or destroyed more than 400,000 worth of items from the 18.5 million mansion without permission of a bankruptcy trustee. Dykstra, who spent his 12-year career with the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, also has pleaded not guilty to indecent exposure charges for allegedly exposing himself to women he met on Craigslist. Dykstra said he didn't deserve to be put in jail on trumped-up charges and said he wasn't able to go to the funeral of his mother who died while he was incarcerated awaiting trial. He noted that he chose to go into a drug rehab center, volunteers his time with a college baseball team and has paid nearly 20 million in taxes. "I do have remorse for some of the things I've done," he said. "But because I wasn't a perfect person am I a criminal? Everyone wants to make me out to be a monster."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker