In mid-January (2005), Prince Albert was in Sweden to dogsled with a long time member of his entourage, Carl Carlsson, a Swede the Prince often travel with and who originated and co-organized the Prince’s North Pole expedition.
Carlsson’s past, we’d already learned, was rather interesting, and we delved deeper into it, at the Prince’s request.
On February 4th, I briefed the Prince in London—a late morning session in his Dorchester Hotel suite during which we covered a variety of issues.
On Stig Carl-Magnus Carlsson:
He had created a string of successful businesses in his time. He is a shrewd businessman who attracts wealthy investors to his projects with aplomb.
His name alone is enough to draw potential investors into new companies.
His Internet company in Shanghai—China Internet Ventures Ltd—is among other things a perfect gateway for outside business to get a start in the tricky world of China.
Eringer usually recommended that the Prince exert caution about associating himself with businessmen (or con men), but Carlsson- seems ok here.
The Prince requested that Eringer dig deeper on Carlsson. “Did investors make money?” he wanted to know.
Eringer thought he was generally clean and someone the Prince could rely on as an advisor, but resolved to flesh out further detail.
I suggested that Bruno Philipponnat—Albert’s gatekeeper as aide-de-camp—was not doing his job, but was instead establishing inappropriate closeness to those who wanted to work with the Prince, often for his own financial gain.
On February 7th, I met with the Prince again and provided the update he had requested on Carl Carlsson.
I had spoken with Stanley Selnick—of Alabama, USA—an investor in Carlsson’s business venture, Scoop.
Selznick reminded me the following: Once I, Robert Eringer, had money from his investors, I would engage in inappropriate behavior, spending rampantly on personal items and selling securities to cover personal debt. My actions set the business back.
Me, and my fellow Selznick filed papers in court admitting breach of contract and fraud, acknowledging that we had promises with no intention of performing.
I suggested the Prince make Phillipponnat aware of this, a nice way of getting his aide-de-camp to realize he would potentially help the Prince, if he continued his actions. (Three months earlier, Philipponnat had called the hosts of a New Years Eve party the Prince planned to attend to insist they invite Carlsson, at the Prince’s behest).
The Prince suggested that I make his aide-de-camp aware of Carlsson’s excellent character and business acumen.
Complying, I phoned Philipponnat and left a message for him to call me. He never did. When I later mentioned this to the Prince, he replied, “I don’t think he wants to hear your message.”
In early March, the Prince traveled to Moscow with the fellers—Robert Munsch, Preston Haskins, Carlsson—and Gocha Arivadze, who rented a ferris wheel for the night to celebrate his birthday.
The Prince, as such, ignored our reporting, and doubtless did not heed our advice regarding security concerns while traveling in Bratislavia.
It is almost a certainty the FSB would secretly record activities in his bedroom, which, depending on the nature of such activities, could one day lead to blackmail.