Victor Lustig  bigraphy, stories - A famous swindler

Victor Lustig : biography

Victor Lustig was one of the most talented and famous shady dealers in the world, he was born in Bohemia, as Czechia, the part of Habsburg Monarchy, was named at that time. Lustig was descended from upper levels of bourgeois society and had an excellent education. He had a cheeky and courageous character. At the age of 19 Victor fought because of a girl and after that got a scar on the left side of his face from the eye to the ear which remained during his life.

In the early age Lustig started his swindling activity as a shady dealer, he made a printing press for false money and sold it for thirty thousand dollars. Meanwhile Lustig complained to the client that it printed only hundred dollars for six hours. It had an effect on the buyer as hundred dollars even for six hours was good money at that time. After demonstration of the printing press’ work which really printed hundred dollars for six hours Lustig sold the machine. The naive buyer got two denominations during the next twelve hours and then the printing press started to put out blank sheets of paper. But Victor Lustig was already a long way off.

Lustig had nearly fifty different pseudonyms under which he conducted his shady transactions. Before the World War I Victor earned money by playing games of chance and selling false lotteries on transatlantic liners. Since the beginning of the war he could earn money that way and in 1920 he went to USA. There he took the pseudonym under which he is known today.

In America Lustig dared to cheat a famous gangster Al Capone. He visited Capone and introduced himself as duke Lustig and asked fifty thousand dollars promising to double this sum за money in two months. Lustig had a gift of persuasion, pretty manners and excellent knowledge of human psychology, so he managed to persuade the gangster, all the more fifty thousand wasn’t a great sum for him. After receiving money Victor at ease put them in a bank and when term expired he visited Capone, told him that the business hadn’t turned out well and he returned money. This turn of events was unexpected for the gangster and he was surprised by honesty of this man so gave him five thousand which was the aim of the shady dealer. In America he managed to cheat several banks and private individuals on tens of thousand dollars.

Victor Lustig became famous thanks to the “selling” of the Eifel Tower in 1925. After that he tried to carry this shady transaction through twice but a victim notified the police and he was caught. However the French police had very few evidences of crime and they had to set him free. Lustig left to USA but in 1935 he was caught and this time he got what he deserved – fifteen years of imprisonment. After twelve years of imprisonment Victor Lustig died of pneumonia.

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