Lapo Elkann at Garage Italia CustomsEnlarge Photo
Fiat heir Lapo Elkann, brother to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] Chairman John Elkann, was arrested in November in New York City on charges of filing a false kidnapping report.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance on Wednesday said the charges were dropped but added no further comment, Reuters reports.
A lawyer representing the 39-year-old told Reuters that the earlier reports on the case amounted to “false news.” One report alleged that Elkann was low on cash and had called his family, falsely claiming he was kidnapped in order to extract ransom money.
Elkann was released after his November arrest and would have been due in court on Wednesday had the charges not been dropped.
“Today's decision is so heartening and reinforces the faith I have always placed in American justice,” Elkann said in a statement.
He added that he had been through a “difficult period” and was “clear” in his determination to work on himself.
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.