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|Carl Johan Freer|
|Born||May 9, 1970|
|Other names||Erik Jonsson, Brian Littleton|
|Partner(s)||Mikael Ljungman, Stefan Eriksson|
Carl Johan Freer (born 9 May 1970) is a Swedish businessman and technology entrepreneur who has also been identified under the aliases of "Erik Jonsson" and "Brian Littleton". Freer has been convicted of fraud on two separate occasions. He was convicted once in Swedish court and once in the courts of Germany. Freer once represented himself as an "officer" of the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority which was investigated in the criminal case of business partner Stefan Eriksson.
Freer founded Tiger Telematics Inc in 2002 (not to be confused with the already-existing and wholly unrelated electronic game manufacturer Tiger Electronics that developed the Furby and Giga Pets). Freer managed the development, launch and promotion of the Gizmondo, a handheld game console, along with business partner Stefan Eriksson. With fewer than 25,000 units sold, the Gizmondo was named by GamePro as the worst selling handheld console in history.
Freer was Chairman of the Tiger Telematics board of directors until he resigned his position in October 2005. Gizmondo Europe's director, Stefan Eriksson, worked directly under Tiger Telematics chairman Freer according to the company's SEC filings. Under Freer and Eriksson, Gizmondo lost hundreds of millions of pounds: in 2004, Tiger Telematics reported a loss of $99.29 million, and between January and September 2005, they lost $210 million, "[p]rincipally due to development costs for the Gizmondo and non-cash expenses associated with shares of restricted common stock issued for services". In other words, it had bartered shares in lieu of cash payments for services provided to the company. By 6 February 2006, the company was forced into compulsory liquidation and the Gizmondo was discontinued. In 2007, Gametrailers named it "the worst console of all time."
Freer was also engaged in relaunching the Gizmondo product, claiming a potential launch in the 3rd quarter of 2008; however, this relaunch never occurred.
In 2008, Freer founded a startup called Media Power Inc and in May of that year, a partnership was announced where Media Power would donate $5M over five years to Georgia Tech to further Augmented Reality research.
Freer is currently co-founder and chairman of a networking Web site for filmmakers, financiers, actors and fans called FilmFunds. In 2011, Sue Basko, an entertainment lawyer for independent music and film, investigated FilmFunds and reported on her blog that "it does not seem legit and there does not seem to be any film fund."
In his teens Freer forged his parents' signature for a loan and was convicted of fraud though Freer says he had his parents' permission to sign on their behalf for a student loan. In 2005 he was fined by a German court for buying luxury cars with bounced cheques under the assumed name of Erik (Eric) Jonsson, though Freer says he cancelled the cheques himself because he "thought he was being sold stolen cars."
In 2006, Los Angeles police raided Freer's Bel-Air mansion and his yacht moored in Marina Del Rey shortly after his alleged associate and partner, Stefan Eriksson, was arrested on various charges, and found twelve rifles and four handguns. Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies, arrested Freer on suspicion of impersonating a police officer using San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority identification in order to purchase a .44 Magnum handgun. No formal charges were filed and Freer claimed that the whole situation was a misunderstanding.
A civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) action against Carl Freer, Media Power, GetFugu, many of its officers and directors, and other businesses related to Freer was filed on November 25, 2009 in a United States district court. On August 27, 2010, the court dismissed all of the charges because the alleged conduct would have been actionable as securities fraud and as such could not be pursued as a RICO action.
- Olle Blomkvist (2005-10-31). "Så blev Carl Freer efterlyst" (in Swedish). Realtid.se. http://www.realtid.se/ArticlePages/200510/31/20051031112907_Realtid365/20051031112907_Realtid365.dbp.asp.
- Anthony James, Michael Gillard (2006-05-21). "The firm that blew it all in two years". London: The Sunday Times. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/technology/article722624.ece.
- Lasse Wierup (2006-04-29). "Freer drömde om ett imperium" (in Swedish). Dagens Nyheter. http://www.dn.se/ekonomi/freer-dromde-om-ett-imperium-1.552981.
- "Carl Freer: Han är Carl Freers nya högra hand" (in Swedish). Realtid.se. 2008-02-18. http://www.realtid.se/ArticlePages/200802/17/20080217212609_Realtid022/20080217212609_Realtid022.dbp.asp. Retrieved 2009-05-29. ([ author's translation])
- "Tiger Telematics Inc. 10K for 2004-12-31". http://www.secinfo.com/d16nT1.z5p.htm#1nfr.
- Jeffrey Fleishman; Richard Winton (2006-05-15). "Life in Fast Lane Long Before the Ferrari Crash". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-ferrari15may15,0,3415150.story?page=1&coll=la-home-headlines.
- Randall Sullivan (2006-10-01). "Gizmondo's Spectacular Crack-up". Wired Magazine. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.10/gizmondo.html?pg=1&topic=gizmondo&topic_set=.
- "Excerpt from a 8-K SEC Filing, filed by TIGER TELEMATICS INC". Norwalk, Connecticut,: EDGAR Online, Inc.. 2005-08-30. http://sec.edgar-online.com/tiger-telematics-inc/8-k-current-report-filing/2005/08/30/section6.aspx. "Carl Freer, Co-founder and Chairman, Tiger Telematics"
- Snow, Blake (2011-06-07). "The 10 Worst Selling Handhelds Of All Time". Web.archive.org. http://web.archive.org/web/20110607130452/http://www.gamepro.com/article/features/125749/the-10-worst-selling-handhelds-of-all-time/. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- Smith, Tony (2005-10-27). "Gizmondo executives quit under cloud". The Register. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/27/gizmondo_shakeup/.
- "Gizmondo Europe goes into liquidation". Pocket-Lint. 2006-02-07. http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/news.phtml/2432/3456/gizmondo-liquidation-europe-games-console.phtml. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- (May 6, 2007). Top Ten Worst Consoles, GameTrailers. Accessed November 14, 2012.
- Sandberg, Hans (2007-11-13). "Carl Freer startar om Gizmondo". Realtid.se. http://www.realtid.se/ArticlePages/200711/13/20071113094753_Realtid421/20071113094753_Realtid421.dbp.asp. (author's translation)
- "Georgia Tech lands $5M to develop Augmented Reality". Atlanta Business Chronicle (American City Business Journals). 2008-05-28. http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2008/05/26/daily19.html. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
- "FilmFunds Acquires 3D Conversion Specialists Duran Duboi U.S.". Hollywood Reporter (The Hollywood Reporter). 2011-12-20. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/filmfunds-duran-duboi-3D-conversion-275802. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- "FilmFunds to Use Crowdsourcing to Pitch 3D Conversions (Exclusive)". The Wrap Covering Hollywood (The Wrap News Inc.). 2011-12-20. http://www.thewrap.com/movies/column-post/filmfunds-use-crowdsourcing-pitch-3d-conversions-33790. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
- "FilmFunds buys post house - Crowdsourcing venture wants to be one-stop shop". Variety (magazine) (Reed Business Information). 2011-12-20. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118047793?refCatId=19. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
- Basko, Sue (October 24, 2011). "Indie Film Funds: Beware of This!". http://suebasko.blogspot.com/2011/09/indie-film-funds-beware-of-this.html. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- Richard Winton; David Pierson (2006-04-27). "2nd Arrest Made in Ferrari Case". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2006/apr/27/local/me-ferrari27. Retrieved 2011-12-09.
- Anthony James; Michael Gillard (2006-05-21). "The firm that blew it all in two years". The Times. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/technology/article722624.ece.
- "RICO filing". http://viewer.zoho.com/docs/oxaah.
- "United States District Court Order - Simon Davies et al vs GetFugu Inc et al.". 2010-08-28. http://www.getfugu.com/rico_dismissal/getfugu_order.pdf.