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Bo Stefan Eriksson, Carl Freer, and Gizmondo (not Gizmodo)

So while there was the illusion of fair exchange, there really was no exchange at all: Eriksson and Freer got diehard loyalty and free labor in exchange for Gizmondo stock, while their underlings were allowed to drive outrageous automobiles that they nonetheless didn't own. Models, supercars, diamond watches, paper stocks, parties: these were the currencies in Gizmondo nation, and everyone thought of themselves as fucking rich.

In 2006, a Ferrari Enzo was destroyed in a mysterious accident in the Malibu hills. The ensuing investigation revealed the involvement of Bo Stefan Eriksson and Carl Freer, whose startup gaming company, Gizmondo, would lose over $380 million in an unprecedented scam that burned investors from London to Los Angeles.

What made Eriksson successful was his ultimate undoing; the larger-than-life persona and Sybaritic ebullience that brought him his riches, notoriety and nimiety were the flipside to the arrogance and excess that brought his world crashing down. For if Stefan had only crashed a Porsche GT2, or even a run-of-the-mill Lamborghini Gallardo, instead of a seven figure Ferrari, he would not have attracted the global attention that eventually tipped off that bank in Scotland and launched an international investigation. Had he been driving 100 mph, instead of 190, it's unlikely the accident would have even blipped the LA local news radar. No, it was his grandiose personality that delivered, and then mortgaged, his volcanic success. Taken to such absurd levels, it had to implode.


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