Los Angeles Times
May 30, 2006
Los Angeles- A Swedish businessman who crashed a rare Ferrari Pacific Coast Highway pleaded not guilty today to grand theft, embezzlement and drunken-driving charges. Bo Stefan Eriksson, 44, appeared briefly in Superior Court in an orange prison jumpsuit, his hands shackled. His plea to seven felony charges and two misdemeanor was entered by his newly hired attorneys, Alec Rose [Jim Parkman, Martin Adams and William White].
Eriksson is currently being held on $3 million bail and a federal immigration hold., but Rose indicated outside court that he would seek his clientís release. Rose said he expects his client’s trial, now set for July 31, to be postpoed.
“We intend to prove in trial heís not guilty,” Rose said. “He denies any car was stolen.”
A trial date was set for July 31, but Rose said he expected that to be posponed. According to prosecutors, Eriksson brought two luxury Ferrari Enzos a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren to the United States from Great Britain in violation of lease agreements with British banks that prohibited taking the cars out of the country.
One of the Enzos was destroyed Feb. 21, when he hit a utility pole at 162 mph on the highway in Malibu. Eriksson suffered only a cut lip, but the red sports car, one of only 400 Enzos made, was ripped apart.
Eriksson initially identified the driver as a German man named Dietrich but later acknowledged he was driving the car, according to testimony from a sheriffís investigator. Authorities say Eriksson also claimed he was a deputy commissioner with the ìanti-terrorism divisionî of a small transit agency in the suburban San Gavriel Valley. Eriksson is a former executive with Gizmondo Europe, Ltd., a computer game company that went bankrupt last year. He spent five years in a Swedish prison in the 1990s for assault, extortion and other crimes.
He is charged with three counts of embezzlement, three counts of grand theft and illegal gun possession, all felonies, plus two misdemeanor counts of drunken driving.
Authorities say they found a .357-caliber handgun registered to a reserve Orange County sheriff’s deputy at Erikssonís Bel-Air mansion.