- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 16, 2006

LOS ANGELES

The 162-mph crash of a rare model of Ferrari on Pacific Coast Highway opened a mystery.

How could anyone plow their car into a utility pole at that speed and survive with just a cut lip, as Swedish businessman Bo Stefan Eriksson did?

The case has developed more turns than the winding route authorities say Mr. Eriksson couldn’t navigate on the morning of Feb. 21.

First there was a mysterious German man named Dietrich. Mr. Eriksson told authorities he was Dietrich’s passenger — that he let Dietrich take out the $1.5 million Ferrari Enzo for a pre-dawn spin even though he didn’t know Dietrich’s last name or where to find him after he wrecked the car.

Things got even more odd when two “Homeland Security” men showed up after the crash. It turned out they actually worked security for the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority, a small bus company in the suburbs.

Mr. Eriksson told authorities he was a deputy commissioner with the authority’s counterterrorism division, although most of his previous experience with law enforcement appears to be the five years he spent in a Swedish prison in the 1990s for assault, extortion and other crimes.

On May 11, authorities raided the bus company, took one man into custody and seized guns, badges and police jackets.

Digging deeper, authorities uncovered Mr. Eriksson’s connections to a bankrupt European video game company he once helped run, his convictions for assault and other crimes in Sweden.

Mr. Ericksson, in custody on a federal immigration hold, appeared in court Monday, but his arraignment on charges of embezzlement, grand theft, drunken driving and being a felon in possession of a firearm was postponed to May 30.

It all began with the wreck of a car so exclusive it was named after company founder Enzo Ferrari. Only 400 were made between 2002 and 2004. Mr. Eriksson, 44, somehow wound up with two Enzos, as well as a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. Police have confiscated the cars and accuse him of stealing all three, which they say were worth $3.8 million.

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