This is a long but staggering expose on the purported brilliance and financial acumen of one Lenny "Nails" Dykstra. It's the story of a guy who was recruited by Nails, eventually hired to help run his magazine business and ultimately treated like crap, stolen from and left holding the bag with a soiled reputation.
At about 3:30 p.m. on the Saturday before Labor Day, I receive a call from Lenny. Speaking in a voice even more slurred than usual, he says: “Hey, bro, a guy from this jet company is going to call you in a few minutes and ask for your credit card.”
“What the hell for, Lenny?”
“He’s not going to charge your card, bro. It’s just an authorization on it so I can reserve a private jet to get me to Atlanta, where I’m going to pick up half a million dollars in cash.”
This is pretty much the precise moment when things begin to go wrong—when I should’ve realized that no matter how enthralled I was with the idea of working for Nails and his high-rolling magazine, I should’ve simply said no. I ask why a supposed multimillionaire needs an employee’s credit card for his flights. He mumbles something about having “high-limit cards off the charts” that, for reasons unknown, do not allow him to make telephone authorizations.
“Lenny, I’m trusting you to do right by me. I don’t want to be stuck with these charges,” I say.
“You can trust me with your life, bro,” he replies. And then: “Don’t tell anyone about this, okay?”
At this point, I am already on the hook for $14,000, and though I know I’ll never see the five grand Lenny’s promising, I worry that unless I pony up the rest, he’ll walk on his first airfare and leave me with the bill. So I call the private charter company and put my remaining four credit cards together for about $18,000. That leaves me $5,000 short. Lenny’s personal assistant puts her card down for the balance.
Lenny gets on his plane, but the five grand never finds its way to my pocket. It will be fourteen days before the authorizations are cleared—long enough for my wife to find out what I’d been doing and for us to be late on our mortgage payment. Weeks later I learn that Lenny had also attempted to persuade one of the magazine’s advertisers to put up their credit for Lenny’s private flights, again with the promise of cash.