Lenny Dykstra, the fraudster Jim Cramer unwittingly turned into a stock-picking star, accepted an illegal bribe to pimp a penny stock on his TheStreet.com newsletter, Randall Lane of the Daily Beast reports. Dykstra secretly accepted $250,000 worth of Automated Vending Technologies shares in exchange for a plug in the newsletter and a promised meeting with Cramer, according to a former adviser to Dykstra, a retired baseball star.
Dykstra knew it was illegal, so he had the stock issued in his brother-in-law’s name, without, the adviser says, the brother-in-law’s knowledge. Dykstra never delivered on the meeting with Cramer—who almost certainly never knew about the scheme—but he did advise his readers to buy AVT. Lane confronted AVT’s founder with a certificate proving the stock handoff, but he denied everything, saying the only money he ever gave Dykstra was $15,000 to trade for him. That money has disappeared. (Read more Jim Cramer stories.)