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In mid-January 2005, the Prince was in Sweden, dog-sledding with the newest addition to his entourage: Stig Carl-Magnus Carlsson, a Swede who’d allegedly paid for the recent vacation of Bruno Philipponnat (Albert's senior aide) in the Bahamas.
Carlsson’s past, we’d already learned, was rather murky, 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 left a trail of failed businesses behind him. He is a habitual bankrupt who lives a precious lifestyle at the expense of his investors.
Be wary—he will probably use your name to lure potential investors into new companies.
His so-called “Internet company” in Shanghai—China Internet Ventures Ltd—does not actually do anything other than act as an introduction service for people desiring to do business in China.
I recommended the Prince exert caution about associating himself with businessmen (or con men) like Carlsson—or risk having his name used as a means to dupe potential investors.
The Prince requested we dig deeper on Carlsson.
“Did investors lose money?” he wanted to know.
I thought I’d already said they had but resolved to flesh out further detail.
I suggested that Bruno Philipponnat—Albert's gatekeeper as aide-de-camp—was not doing his job keeping riff-raff away, but was instead establishing inappropriate closeness to those who wanted to ingratiate themselves 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 Berk—of California, USA—an investor in Carlsson’s business venture, Scoop.
Berk had told me the following: Once Carlsson had the money from his investors, he engaged in inappropriate behavior, spending rampantly on personal items and selling securities in Scoop to cover personal debt. His actions set the business back, and it ultimately failed.
Berk and his fellow investor, Stephen Grayson, filed a complaint in court alleging breach of contract and fraud, saying that Carlsson made promises with no intention of performing.
The Prince suggested that I make his aide-de-camp aware of Carlsson’s poor character and business transgressions.
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 brothel for the night to celebrate his birthday.
The Prince, as such, ignored our reporting on Carlsson and Arivadze, and doubtless did not heed our advice regarding security concerns while traveling in Russia.
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.