Greed and Insanity Run in the Family

By: Michael Seinberg

golden_piggy_bank_with_dollar_glassWhat’s crazier? Giving away a $460,000 Lamborghini to your contractor or suing a bank for letting you? Now, we all know how tough it is to find a trustworthy contractor, but is the car plus $600,000 a sign of insanity or just thanks for a job well done?

Sad to say, a NY jury and lots of NY court time will likely be brought to bear in order to decide which is crazier. And who’s at the center? The guy giving away the car? Nope. His brother, a lawyer (surprise!) who is suing Bank of America for allowing his allegedly mentally ill brother to give away lots of money and pricey toys including a $72,000 Mercedes Benz and more than $300,000 to virtual strangers. The supposedly sane brother was actually named guardian of the crazy one back in 2010, though in perfectly logical fashion he shifts this responsibility to BOA .

The generous man in question is Jeffrey Horan, 43 of Manhattan, a former Lehman Brothers and UBS Warburg senior vice president. His brother is Lawrence J. Horan, an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based attorney who seems to have been in practice since 2008 following a “successful career” in law enforcement, according to an online profile. His legal specialties include legislative relations, civil litigation, and municipal law, among other things. Suing multi-national banks for questionable reasons is a new one.

Jeff has indeed had a rather colorful run, with involuntary stays at Bellevue Hospital and New York Presbyterian Hospital, according to the suit. Ironically, Larry was given guardianship over Jeff in 2010, as already noted, but in the three years since then, he still blames Bank of America for failing to notice Jeff’s irregular financial practices. Those activities included handing out blank checks to strangers and possibly overpaying his contractor for work on his East 47th Street apartment.

A sane observer of all these activities would probably agree that Jeff is in need of some supervision. What his specific issues are and who is responsible for his actions is not really in question since his brother is his legal guardian. So the question then is really quite simple. How can you call Jeff crazy when Larry is suing the bank rather than admit to his own failings as his brother’s keeper? Larry says the bank should have done something besides collecting transaction fees on the large accounts. But on the surface, that’s just crazy. Who ever heard of a bank turning down a fee? Talk about nuts. Besides, Bank of America is in the business of banking, not keeping tabs on their customer’s mental status or their activities unless those appear to be of an illegal nature. Giving away expensive foreign cars is still legal in New York.

So now, NY taxpayers get to foot the bill while this family debacle takes place in our court system. If Larry were reasonable, he’d admit to his own lack of competence in his guardianship, and work to help his brother. Instead he’s focused on getting lost money back the old fashioned way: suing for it. He seeking millions from the bank and is even naming two of Jeff’s recipients, Alex Gershkovich, the contractor, and Elizabeth Ortiz as defendants. I guess he really wants the Lamborghini back.

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