By John Rogers
Bo Stefan Eriksson, who was tried on fraud and grand theft charges, is seen during closing arguments in a Los Angeles courtroom on Nov. 1. The judge declared a mistrial.
LOS ANGELES – A judge declared a mistrial Friday in the fraud and grand theft trial of a Swedish businessman whose 162 mph wreck in a classic Ferrari led to the charges alleging he stole two luxury sports cars from British banks that loaned him the money to lease them.
Jurors told Judge Patricia Schnegg they were deadlocked 10-2 in favor of convicting Bo Stefan Eriksson.
Eriksson, 44, was charged with two counts each of grand theft and fraudulent concealment with intent to defraud. Prosecutors said he stopped making payments on two luxury sports cars he had borrowed millions of dollars to lease and then tried to hide them. Los Angeles County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison said the office would retry Eriksson.
Eriksson had previously pleaded no contest to a drunk driving charge in connection with the Feb. 21 crash, which destroyed a rare Ferrari Enzo valued at $1.5 million. He still faces trial on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm – a .357-Magnum handgun that authorities said they found when they searched his $6 million Bel-Air home in March. Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday.
Eriksson’s lead attorney, Jim Parkman, said he hadn’t spoken with his client but was told by a fellow attorney that Eriksson wasn’t disappointed with the outcome.
“His indication was that he was in very good spirits,” Parkman said.
Eriksson was not charged with stealing the red Enzo he smashed up on the Pacific Coast Highway, but with taking a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and a black Ferrari Enzo that prosecutors said he acquired in England through a series of sham transactions.
The defense acknowledged during the trial that Eriksson quit making payments on the cars late last year. But Parkman said he did so only after his company went broke, not because he intended to steal the cars.
He had been an executive with now-defunct Gizmondo, a European video game company.