Bank Of America Sued For Mishandling Former Hedge-Fund Manager, Mental Patient’s Money

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So much for genuine philanthropy. According to a recent lawsuit, millionaire Jeffrey Horan, 43 and formerly a banker at Lehman Brothers and UBS, gave luxury cars and hundreds of thousands of dollars to two practical strangers. But, as the suit alleges, Horan was literally off his rocker and the two were taking advantage of his mental condition.

Now Horan’s younger brother Lawrence, 40, is seeking repayment from both recipients, as well as damages from Bank Of America, which was paid to advise Horan on financial matters but instead allowed the extravagant spending without notice.

This is a very unfortunate situation where a guy with a severe mental disorder was taken advantage of by a great many people,” Lawrence Horan’s attorney Kierean Conlan told the New York Daily News.

Horan’s problems began back in 2001 when a helicopter he and friends were riding from Philadelphia to New York crashed into a tree. Although all six passengers and the pilot survived, Horan’s mental stability declined over the next 10 years, forcing his hospitalization twice and leading to his over-the-top generosity. In 2010 he paid New Jersey contractor Alex Gershkovich an astounding $600,000 for work on his Upper West Side apartment that never occurred, and bought him a $460,000 Lamborghini. Horan also gave Queens resident Elizabeth Ortiz $300,000 cash and a $72,000 Mercedes Benz for no apparent reason, according to the 22-page Manhattan Supreme Court filing.

Image via GuoZhongHua/Shutterstock

Image via GuoZhongHua/Shutterstock

The lawsuit accuses Gershkovich and Ortiz of lying to Horan “in order to take advantage of his mania and psychotic delusions.

Not only does the suit demand Ortiz and Gershkovich, who owns home renovation business Constructive Ideas, return all money and gifts provided to them, but it seeks unspecified money and damages from Bank of America, as well as financial company Merrill Lynch, over the mishandling of Horan’s finances.

According to the lawsuit, Horan’s “strange, illogical and self-destructive behavior” went unnoticed by BOA officials who charged Horan exorbitant fees to manage his financial accounts and were aware of his mental instability. One particular executive was assigned to Horan’s accounts since 2004, who took no action as Horan purchased luxury cars and wrote blank checks to strangers.

The defendants intentionally and/or knowingly turned a blind eye in a manner inconsistent with their obligations,” the suit claims.