Rumor: Gizmondo execs with ties to the Swedish mafia have resigned.

Source: Several online reports citing the Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet. The official story: See below. What we heard: It sounded too bizarre to be true, but at the same time ridiculous enough that nobody would bother making it up. The Monday edition of Aftonbladet reported that a round of...

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Source: Several online reports citing the Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet.

The official story: See below.

What we heard: It sounded too bizarre to be true, but at the same time ridiculous enough that nobody would bother making it up. The Monday edition of Aftonbladet reported that a round of resignations swept through Gizmondo Europe after some employees' ties to Swedish organized crime had come to light.

The paper reported that more than 10 years ago, now-resigned Gizmondo Europe executive officer Stefan Eriksson was convicted of crimes in connection with the Uppsala Mafia, which got its name from the town where it based its operations. Two other employees also turned in resignations stemming from former ties.

No doubt the biggest resignation in the midst of all of this was that of Tiger Telematics cofounder and chairman Carl Freer, who co-owned third-party developer Northern Lights Software Limited with Eriksson. Northern Lights was paid a little more than $3.5 million to develop Chicane and Colors, two titles actually being developed in-house by Gizmondo Europe-owned studios. On September 29, Freer paid this money back to the company pending the outcome of an investigation into the transaction. The Northern Lights debacle is just the most notable in a series of shady payments and business arrangements detailed by the company in an SEC filing from last week.

Another SEC filing from the same day confirms the resignations, saying Eriksson left "to pursue a new entrepreneurial venture," while Freer "believes that the Company has passed the incubation stage where his entrepreneur skills are most effective," and also plans to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures.

With Freer gone, Michael Carrender, CEO of Tiger Telematics, will step into his role, while a decision has yet to be made regarding Eriksson's now-vacant position.

A Gizmondo spokesman today told GameSpot that the company first became aware of the allegations of mafia ties late last week, and that the company has "taken immediate steps to rectify the situation."

While Gizmondo does perform background checks on its employees, the spokesman said that typically background checks only go back as far as seven years, and so Eriksson's convictions of more than a decade ago wouldn't come up. As far as Freer is concerned, no allegations of mob ties have come up, and Gizmondo is currently unaware of any past criminal convictions for its cofounder. Interestingly enough, both Freer and Eriksson will keep their stock in the company.

Gizmondo's corporate site doesn't address any of this, but it does boast the increasingly apt slogan "Business as unusual."

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus.

Discussion

19 comments
izdan
izdan

the gizmondo sucks

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

Hahaha Mafia!!! Gizmondo was doomed from the beginning

DB5
DB5

Stefna Eriksson, thats the guy that crashed the ferrari enzo in california

DisturbedOne46_
DisturbedOne46_

Who cares about this system im quite happy with the DS and PSP

Lancer_McCloud
Lancer_McCloud

I would not say our mafia is something even close to what you would se in

Hooblagatos
Hooblagatos

Perhaps you should of read that they resigned. Those people were involved (not said to be directly a part of) the Swedish Mafia have resigned. Also Car Freer as well as other executives have returned most of the money they spent on personal items. Also the new CEO of Tiger Telematics Michael Carrender was the head technical designer of the Gizmondo. Tell me, aside from up until recently Bill Gates, how many other heads of companies have the faintest clue on how the product works aside from what it is meant to do and can directly contribute to the betterment of it?

hump
hump

Swedish Mafia? Who woulda thought....

littlefarny
littlefarny

This is the kind of news that'll shift units. Hmm...in line with the US launch, hmmm...they still keep their stock. Right. I believe them.

FuzionFighter
FuzionFighter

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

supermechakirby
supermechakirby

it wasnt backed by the mafia and it didnt come out of nowhere, it has some excelent innovative features, and original games

umbrae
umbrae

wish this comment stuff was on all new articles! figures a device that comes out of nowhere to compete with GBAs would be back by the mafia. No one else would fund it...

syxpack
syxpack

yeah this is pretty cool. Is rumor control really one item today?

crithon
crithon

so wait a minute, buying a Gizmondo means you support Organized Crime? That's the kind of news that might get people to buy a Gizmondo.

Zeuradin
Zeuradin

Is the comment bar only for Rumor Control? I don't see it in any other news item.

Polybren
Polybren

Source: Several online reports citing the Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet.

The official story: See below.

What we heard: It sounded too bizarre to be true, but at the same time ridiculous enough that nobody would bother making it up. The Monday edition of Aftonbladet reported that a round of resignations swept through Gizmondo Europe after some employees' ties to Swedish organized crime had come to light.

The paper reported that more than 10 years ago, now-resigned Gizmondo Europe executive officer Stefan Eriksson was convicted of crimes in connection with the Uppsala Mafia, which got its name from the town where it based its operations. Two other employees also turned in resignations stemming from former ties.

No doubt the biggest resignation in the midst of all of this was that of Tiger Telematics cofounder and chairman Carl Freer, who co-owned third-party developer Northern Lights Software Limited with Eriksson. Northern Lights was paid a little more than $3.5 million to develop Chicane and Colors, two titles actually being developed in-house by Gizmondo Europe-owned studios. On September 29, Freer paid this money back to the company pending the outcome of an investigation into the transaction. The Northern Lights debacle is just the most notable in a series of shady payments and business arrangements detailed by the company in an SEC filing from last week.

Another SEC filing from the same day confirms the resignations, saying Eriksson left "to pursue a new entrepreneurial venture," while Freer "believes that the Company has passed the incubation stage where his entrepreneur skills are most effective," and also plans to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures.

With Freer gone, Michael Carrender, CEO of Tiger Telematics, will step into his role, while a decision has yet to be made regarding Eriksson's now-vacant position.

A Gizmondo spokesman today told GameSpot that the company first became aware of the allegations of mafia ties late last week, and that the company has "taken immediate steps to rectify the situation."

While Gizmondo does perform background checks on its employees, the spokesman said that typically background checks only go back as far as seven years, and so Eriksson's convictions of more than a decade ago wouldn't come up. As far as Freer is concerned, no allegations of mob ties have come up, and Gizmondo is currently unaware of any past criminal convictions for its cofounder. Interestingly enough, both Freer and Eriksson will keep their stock in the company.

Gizmondo's corporate site doesn't address any of this, but it does boast the increasingly apt slogan "Business as unusual."

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus.