39-year-old Leo Elkmann was arrested in New York for alegedly faked his own kidnapping

Lapo Elkann is known in automotive circles as the grandson of the late Fiat patriarch Gianni Agnelli and the heir to the Fiat fortune. But he’s also known to be a flamboyant character who almost died in 2005 due to a drug overdose. So it comes as no surprise that when Elkann makes the headlines, it’s probably for something that only somebody of his personality could even think of, let alone actually do. Can we consider faking his own kidnapping as something Elkann is capable of doing? Apparently so because it’s been reported that Elkann was arrested and charged in New York for exactly that reason.

According to multiple reports which quote anonymous police sources, Elkann was suspected of faking his own kidnapping in New York because he ran out of cash after throwing a two-night party-palooza to celebrate Thanksgiving.

The Daily Beast, in particular, reported that Elkann flew to New York during the holidays and proceeded to have the time of his life with a male escort. The same source quoted by The Daily Beast alleges that Elkann and his buddy consumed alcohol and drugs until they ran out of cash, at which point the 39-year old contacted his family claiming to have been kidnapped and that the perpetrators were asking for $10,000 in ransom money. The family proceeded to contact the New York Police Department, which in turn, launched an investigation into the matter, only to discover that Elkann himself was allegedly behind the whole thing after he and his partner went to collect the ransom money.

Elkann and his companion were arrested during the NYPD’s sting operation with the Fiat heir being charged with filing a false police report. According to the NYPD, the escort’s arrest has since been voided and sealed, which likely means that Elkann will be facing these charges all by his lonesome, at least if it hasn’t been settled already.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Talk about a weird Thanksgiving story

The Heir To The Fiat Fortune Acts Naughty, Gets Arrested
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I don’t want to dive too deep into the affairs of people who are in trouble with the law, even if they’re embedded in automotive folklore. The thing that strikes me about this story the most is that most people aren’t at all surprised that the 39-year-old Elkmann was allegedly involved in such a daring – and illegal – attempt to get money sent to him.

I mean, couldn’t he have just asked to send it to him? $10,000 is a lot of money for a lot of people, but for someone who is considered the heir to one of Italy’s biggest and most influential industrial dynasties, $10,000 is a drop in the bucket. Then again, it wouldn’t be Elkmann’s style if he went about his business like normal people do. This is the same man who, if you look at his Instagram account, has no problem flaunting his lavish lifestyle for all of his IG followers to see and obsess over.

But faking his own kidnapping so he could get $10,000 in party funds? That’s not how most people do it and certainly, nobody in his or her right mind would even make such an audacious attempt, all for the love of the good life.

Personally, I hope this issue gets sorted out now that the matter is now in court. Elkmann has yet to comment on the matter, and neither have his publicist nor the Agnelli family’s investment holding company Exor for that matter.

Source: The Daily Beast

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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