Mental Illness Blamed for Bizarre 2010 Spending Spree

For Jeffrey Horan, the problems apparently began with a 2001 helicopter crash.   

Horan and five other passengers were flying home from an NBA playoffs game when the helicopter crashed into a tree in a heavy fog.  Though there were no fatalities, the injuries Horan sustained in the accident appeared to resulteed in serious mental health problems which eventually led to his forced insitutionalization on at least two occasions, most recently at Bellevue Hospital in 2010.    According to Horan's former business partner, Drew Doscher,  ""I lost a good friend and a great business partner... When your helicopter crashes doing 165 miles an hour into trees, it tends to change people’s lives."   

Despite the 43-year old Horan being  a multimillionaire former financial services executive with a home in Manhattan's Upper West Side,  concerns arose about his erratic spending decisions, including extravagant gifts he made to random people.   Although the Bank of America assigned an executive to monitor Horan's finances in 2004, that failed to prevent a bizarre 2010 spending spree in which his account was drained of millions of dollars.  

In a lawsuit against the Bank of America filed by Horan's brother,  Lawrence, the bank is accused of doing nothing while Jeffrey Horan was being systematically exploited bv two casual acquaintances.   The suit also seeks damages against Hoboken-based contractor Alex Gershkovich and Queens woman, Elizabeth Ortiz.    Both individuals had reportedly met Jeffrey Horan on separate occasions and managed to coerce him into making large financial gifts to them.   The suit states that they both lied to Horan  "in order to take advantage of his mania and psychotic delusions."    Asking for more than $4 milion  in damages from both Gershkovich and Ortiz, the suit is also demanding the return of a $460,ooo Lamborghini from Gershkovich and a $72,000 Mercedes-Benz from Ortiz.   The suit also alleges that Gershkvoch received $600,000 for construction costs to Jeffrey Horan's home despite no work being undertaken with an additional $300,000 being fraudulently received by Elizabeth Ortiz as well.

“This is a very unfortunate situation where a guy with a severe mental disorder was taken advantage of by a great many people,” said Kieran Conlon, attorney for Lawrence Horan, in commenting on the case.   Along with allowing Horan to drain his accounts, he was also charged large fees by his bank with no real oversight taking place.   The spending only ended when Lawrence Horan took formal charge of his brother's finances.    

The Bank of America and the other defendants in the lawsuit refused to comment on the allegations.

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