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Ex-Gizmondo exec court hearing ends in mistrial

Jury deadlocked over Fat Steffi

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Former Gizmondo executive Stefan Eriksson, 44, faces yet more time in a US courtroom after a judge ruled the action against him was a mistrial. The verdict, announced on Friday, followed the jury's inability to reach a unanimous verdict.

Los Angeles Country prosecutors had brought two counts of grand theft - covering, respectively, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and a black Ferrari Enzo - and a third charge, of fraudulent concealment with intent to defraud.

The trial which ended Friday centred on prosecution claims Eriksson had stolen the two surviving vehicles from British financial institutions after the collapse of Gizmondo.

Prosecutors said they would bring Eriksson to trial again, claiming the jury voted 10:2 for a conviction - a sign, they said, of the strength of their case.

Eriksson came to the authorities attention in February this year when another Ferrari Enzo - a red one, this time - was destroyed in a high-speed smash on the Pacific Coast Highway. At the time, Eriksson denied being in control of the car, claiming the driver, a man called Dietrich, had fled the scene of the accident.

Eriksson would later agree to plea guilty to drunk-driving charges. He still faces firearms-related charges after a search of his property revealed a gun which he is not allowed to own because of the criminal convictions he has in his native Sweden for forgery, narcotics and firearms offenses. ®

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