(CBS) LOS ANGELES The wreckage of a rare, red Ferrari Enzo and two other cars brought to America by a man charged with embezzlement and grand theft auto should be shipped overseas, prosecutors said Friday.
Prosecutors asked Superior Court Judge Craig Veals to order the vehicles to be sent to English Banks, which they assert are the legal owners of the vehicles. But attorneys for Bo Stefan M. Eriksson [Jim Parkman, William White and Alec Rose] said he was the rightful owner of a black Ferrari Enzo and Mercedes-Benz SLR, as well as the red Enzo he was driving about 160 mph when it crashed Feb. 21 along Pacific Coast Highway.
The vehicles are currently being held by the sheriff’s department as the 44-year-old businessman awaits trial.
Eriksson, a former executive with the now-bankrupt video game company Gizmondo Europe, pleaded not guilty to nine criminal charges, including embezzlement, grand theft auto and drunken driving.
Eriksson is charged with grand theft auto for bringing the three cars into the United States.
Authorities contend that he stopped making car payments on his lease agreement, which did not allow him to take the exotic cars out of Great Britain.
“We allege he doesn’t own those cars, so they should be returned to the owners, which are the banks in England,” said District Attorney spokesperson Jane Robison.
Eriksson initially denied he had been driving the Ferrari when it crashed, but later acknowledged that he was at the wheel, according to testimony by a sheriff’s detective at Eriksson’s preliminary hearing.
Authorities said the car — one of only 400 Enzos built — was going 162 mph when it smashed into a power pole shortly after 6 a.m.
The DUI charges stem from two alcohol breath tests given to Eriksson shortly after the crash. The first test — at 7:32 a.m. — showed a blood-alcohol content of .093, and the second, taken three minutes later, showed 085, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Anything above .08 is considered to be legally drunk while driving.
Attorney’s Office involving an alleged Jan. 4 hit-and-run.
In that case, Eriksson is accused of being at the wheel of a Porsche Cayenne when it rearended a Ford Explorer stopped at a red light at Sunset and Beverly Glen boulevards. He is also accused of driving without a valid California driver’s license and driving without insurance.