MILAN – Enrico and Giovanni Bellavista, brothers arrested in December and March, respectively, for their blackmail of Italian entrepreneur Lapo Elkann, have been sentenced to prison.
Judge Giuseppe Vanore handed Enrico Bellavista a four-year sentence and Giovanni Bellavista a two-year sentence after they were convicted of extortion; in addition, they are to pay Elkann 50,000 euros, or about $56,300 at current exchange, in damages. Their father, Renato Bellavista, received a sentence of two years and eight months for his involvement in the case.
The brothers had threatened Elkann, the founder of fashionable eyewear and lifestyle brand Italia Independent, with a video they shot in which he was allegedly under the influence of drugs and behaving in a “compromising” manner. While Elkann initially paid them off, he turned to the police when their demands escalated.
The Bellavista family opted for a fast-track trial, while photographer Fabrizio Pensa, also charged with extortion, will face the courtroom at a later date.