Tuesday, April 18, 2006

He's still got the right-hand drive excuse

LOS ANGELES - A Swedish businessman involved in the high-speed crash of a rare Ferrari on a coastal highway was charged Monday with embezzlement and other counts involving the alleged theft of a collection of exotic cars.

Bo Stefan M. Eriksson, 44, ... a former executive with the European video game company Gizmondo, imported two Enzo Ferraris and a rare Mercedes worth an estimated $3.8 million, prosecutors said.

The cars are owned by British financial institutions and leased to Eriksson, Deputy District Attorney Steven Sowders said in a statement. The lease agreement did not allow Eriksson to take the cars out of Great Britain, Sowders said.

Authorities contend Eriksson, arrested in early April, was behind the wheel of an Enzo Ferrari — one of only 400 made — when it wrecked Feb. 21 on Pacific Coast Highway in west Malibu. The car crashed into a pole at 162 mph, totaling the $1 million vehicle.

Eriksson told police he was only a passenger in the car and that the driver was a German acquaintance he knew only as Dietrich. He said Dietrich ran into the hills, but a search by deputies turned up no one.