Life in Fast Lane Long Before Ferrari Crash
Times Staff Writers
May 15, 2006
Charges Pile Up
The fates of Eriksson and Freer are also in question. Eriksson, 44, is in jail in Los Angeles awaiting trial on charges that include embezzlement, grand theft auto, illegally possessing a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum and driving while intoxicated. The counts arose from the Feb. 21 car accident and have become part a widening investigation into his activities after he entered the U.S. in August with two Ferrari Enzos and a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, valued at $3.8 million and owned by British financial institutions. He had a lease contract on the vehicles, authorities said, prohibiting him from taking them out of the country.
In 1988, Eriksson was convicted of possessing a shotgun and selling 10 small bags of cocaine. He spent about two years in prison.
In 1993, Eriksson was convicted and imprisoned on charges of assault, making threats and attempting to inject as much as 20 million counterfeit Swedish kronor, about $2.6 million at the time, into the country's money supply. While in prison on those counts, he was convicted in a separate case for enlisting at least one bank employee to falsify deposit and checking slips to divert money to Eriksson's connections in Sweden and to secret accounts in Spain. Police estimate that more than $7 million was stolen.
"He has a tremendous verbal capacity. He could sell sand in the Sahara and refrigerators to Eskimos."
Freer bought three homes for a total of nearly $15 million and owned a yacht valued at more than $10 million. Eriksson bought cars, watches, cocaine and often hired lap dancers from the Spearmint Rhino club in London, the former employee said.