New York prosecutor drops charges against Fiat heir Lapo Elkann

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By David Ingram | NEW YORK

NEW YORK New York prosecutors have dropped
charges that Lapo Elkann, grandson of late Fiat patriarch Gianni
Agnelli, falsely reported that he had been kidnapped in November
in an effort to get ransom money, the Manhattan District
Attorney said on Wednesday.

The Manhattan District Attorney said it had declined to
prosecute the case but gave no other details.

Elkann apparently concocted a fake kidnapping scheme after
running out of cash during a drug-fueled partying binge, a law
enforcement source had said after his arrest two months ago.
Elkann had been taken into custody at the time, according to the
sources.

A U.S. defense lawyer for Elkann, Randy Zelin, confirmed
there would be no prosecution and said his client was grateful
that justice had prevailed.

“The District Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough and
exhaustive investigation and determined my client had not done
anything criminally,” Zelin said.

He declined to provide details of what the investigation
showed. Earlier reports about the incident had amounted to “false news,” he added.

Elkann, who along with his older brother, Fiat Chrysler Chairman John Elkann, is an heir to Italy’s biggest
industrial dynasty. Lapo Elkann nearly died of a drug overdose
in 2005 after collapsing in the apartment of a transsexual
prostitute. (Additional reporting by Nate Raymond)



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