Tricky Vic - An Impossibly Good Con Man - Tricky Vic and the Prohibition Era

Prohibition agents, working for the U.S. federal government, destroy a bar (and its alcoholic beverages) during America's prohibition era. Image online via U.S. National Archives.


Arriving in the States, after he was forced to flee France, Lustig came face-to-face with a culture dominated by ... Prohibition. The federal government had outlawed the making, distributing and selling of alcoholic beverages.

Flagrantly disregarding the law, gangsters made such beverages available to anyone willing to pay the price. Rum runners, who imported liquor from places like Scotland, transported their goods in really fast boats as they tried to avoid capture by local police and the FBI.

Lustig, continuing with his criminal activities, used different aliases and was arrested many times. In more than forty of those cases, he either escaped from jail—including Crown Point in Indiana, more well-known for John Dillinger’s famous jail break—or beat the charges altogether.

He even made friends with—and conned—Al Capone, a gangster based in Chicago who was once known as America’s “Public Enemy Number One.”

Why did he dupe the man who was also known as “Scarface?” Because he wanted to gain Capone’s trust ... which ... he did.

Then, one spring day in 1935—about two years after America had abolished Prohibition by passing the 21st Amendment—Lustig made a very bad mistake: He betrayed his girlfriend.

Angered because he’d been seeing another girl, she called the police to let them know where they could find her straying boyfriend. The events which followed would lead to one of Lustig's most-outrageous cons.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 19, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Tricky Vic and the Prohibition Era" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 19, 2015. Jan 25, 2020.
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