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Ferarri killer goes on trial
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Ferarri killer goes on trial - October 24, 2006, 09:56 AM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Swedish former videogame executive who set off an international investigation by destroying a rare Ferrari in Malibu was "living it up" with $4 million in stolen sports cars, a Los Angeles prosecutor said as his trial for car theft and embezzlement opened on Monday.
But lawyers for Bo Stefan Eriksson, a 44-year-old former executive with the now-bankrupt videogame company Gizmondo Europe, said during opening statements that while Eriksson was late on his payments on the three cars, he did not steal them.
Eriksson was speeding along the Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu in February at 160 mph (257 kph) when he smashed a $1 million Enzo Ferrari into a power pole, slicing the car in half. The crash exposed a high flying life of big spending, million-dollar homes, fast cars and burned out businesses.
The Swedish national, who declared bankruptcy with more than $200 million in debt a month before the crash, pleaded no contest last week to driving under the influence of alcohol. He faces a separate trial on gun charges.
Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Tamara Hall said during her opening statement the crashed Ferrari, along with another Enzo and a Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR, worth a total of nearly $4 million, were reported stolen by British banks because payments on a lease had stopped in late 2005.
"While (the banks) were looking for Mr. Eriksson in the United Kingdom, he was living it up and sporting those vehicles right here in the U.S.," Hall said.
Defense attorneys contend the banks were aware of Eriksson's move to the United States, and said he had allowed the cars to be displayed in a Las Vegas automobile show -- proof he wasn't hiding.
"He didn't move them (the cars) in the middle of the night," defense attorney Jim Parkman said. "He hired lawyers and agents who were reputable. Ask yourself, what did Mr. Eriksson do to steal or hide any of these vehicles?"
Parkman said U.S. Customs officials gave Eriksson permission to bring the cars into the country, and that a Los Angeles sheriff's detective encouraged the filing of a stolen-car report so he could get a warrant and search Eriksson's $6 million home for evidence of a possible automobile "chop shop."
Eriksson has prior convictions in Sweden for assault, forgery and fraud and served prison time there before joining Gizmondo in London. The Swedish press dubbed the gang he is accused of leading there in the early 1990s the Uppsala Mafia.


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WTF? - October 24, 2006, 10:08 AM

I didn't do it! It got stuck in Cruise Control! Holding 2 more possible stolen rides! HTF CAN I BE DOWN? SLR, and 2 ENZO's
Pass due on the Payments! WTF!


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