Ex-Gizmondo exec goes down

Eriksson pleads guilty to embezzlement and driving under the influence of alcohol in plea bargain deal.


First it was a virtual crash when Gizmondo Europe declared bankruptcy, then a literal crash when a Ferrari Enzo split in two after hitting a pole in Malibu at speeds exceeding 150 miles per hour--and now the whole saga has ended in a California court.

Former Gizmondo executive Bo Stefan Eriksson was sentenced to three years in prison yesterday, reports NBC, in a surprise plea bargain that brings the bizarre sequence of events to an apparent end.

Judge Patricia Schnegg sentenced Eriksson to three years each on four counts, although she allowed the sentences to be served concurrently. Due to time already served and good behaviour, Eriksson is expected to be out in around a year. As part of Eriksson's plea bargain, the court dismissed two counts of grand theft auto.

Last week a mistrial was declared in the charges for car theft and embezzlement, after a hung jury could not reach a unanimous verdict and were split 10-2 in favour of his guilt. Eriksson has already agreed to a plea deal for a separate drink-driving charge related to the incident in Malibu.

Eriksson's multimillion dollar Bel-Air mansion and two other luxury cars--a black Ferrari Enzo and a McLaren Mercedes-Benz--will also be seized under the terms of the arrangement, and he will be deported back to Sweden after completing his prison sentence, reports NBC.

The businessman first told the police that he had not been driving the car and said a mysterious German man called "Dietrich" had been behind the wheel, but had fled the scene of the accident. Later, however, he admitted Dietrich did not exist, and that he was the driver.

"Essentially, it was what Stefan wanted to do," defense attorney Jim Parkman told Reuters. "Stefan believes he can be successful in the future. He wanted to move on and ultimately be out of jail in a year."

This isn't the first time Eriksson has been jailed--he previously spent five years in a Swedish prison for assault, extortion, and various other crimes.

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