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Prosecutors Delay Decision on Charges in Ferrari Case

April 12, 2006|Richard Winton | Times Staff Writer

Prosecutors on Tuesday delayed a decision on filing charges against a former Swedish videogame executive arrested on suspicion of grand theft of a rare Ferrari, which crashed in Malibu, and two other exotic sports cars.

The prosecutors said they needed a few more days to review complex paperwork on how the vehicles were acquired.

Stefan Eriksson, 44, who has been in custody since Saturday, will remain locked up because of an immigration hold issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which could lead to his deportation, officials said.

The agency is investigating Eriksson, but has declined to provide details.

Normally, Eriksson, who was booked Saturday by L.A. County sheriff's deputies, under state law would have to be released if he was not charged within 48 hours.

Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said the decision to spend more time reviewing the case stems from the complexity of how Eriksson got the $3.5-million car collection.

"A decision will be made within the next few days on whether charges will be filed," she said. "The auto insurance fraud division is looking at a lot of paperwork from overseas here and they are sorting through it."

It was unclear Tuesday whether Eriksson would be transferred into immigration custody in the meantime.

Sheriff's investigators who made the arrest say Eriksson imported the red Enzo that crashed, a black Enzo and a Mercedes SLR but that they are actually owned by British financial institutions.

Sheriff's officials said the Mercedes was reported stolen to London's Metropolitan Police.

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