The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has declined to prosecute Lapo Elkann, one of the heirs to the Fiat automotive fortune, for filing false claims of kidnapping and related ransom – but hasn’t given any reason why.
The office of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance confirmed to the Guardian on Wednesday that the charges had been dropped, but did not provide further specifics.
Elkann, 39, had been accused of faking his own kidnapping in order to raise money when his cash ran out on a drink and drug bender in Manhattan in November.
Over two days, beginning with Thanksgiving, Elkann reportedly hired a transgender escort, Curtis Mckinstry, and the two holed up at McKinstry’s New York housing project apartment, where they binged on alcohol, cocaine and marijuana.
When it came time to settle up with escort, the asset rich, cash-poor heir realized he did have the cash on hand to do so. He apparently came up with idea to contact a family representative and tell him that the escort had kidnapped him and that he needed $10,000 for ransom. Once contacted, the family rep notified New York authorities who then arrested McKinstry for kidnapping.
Upon further investigation, it was determined that there no was kidnapping and the call was a ruse to secure the $10,000 to pay McKinstry’s. McKinstry was released but Elkann was charged with filing false kidnapping claim. Mr. Elkann shortly entered rehab after the incident.
Eleven years ago, Elkann overdosed on a combination of heroin and cocaine while in the company 52 year old transsexual escort He was near-death when found, and remained in a coma for over two days.
Elkann was born in New York city and lived in London until he moved to Italy to work at Fiat, the family business when he was 19.
Photo: Associated Press