Lapo Elkann, Fiat heir and brother to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] Chairman John Elkann, is often in the spotlight, though not always for positive reasons.
The latest instance is due to the arrest of the 39-year-old in New York City on Saturday over what’s alleged to be a fake kidnapping.
Police released Elkann but ordered him to appear in court on January 25 on a misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting an incident, New York Police Sergeant Lee Jones confirmed to the Detroit Free Press.
Elkann was arrested inside a Manhattan apartment along with a 29-year-old man. The other man was initially charged with grand larceny but those chargers were later dropped.
New York Daily News’ sources said Elkann was low on cash and called his family, falsely claiming he was being held against his will by a woman threatening to hurt him if he didn’t produce $10,000. The sources also said the man arrested with Elkann was a transgender prostitute.
In 2005, Elkann nearly died of a drug overdose after collapsing in the apartment of a transgender prostitute in Turin, Italy. After the incident, he left his marketing role at Fiat to start the sunglasses brand Italia Independent. He also started vehicle personalization business Garage Italia Customs.