Victor Lustig (January 4, 1890, Bohemia - March 11, 1947, Springfield, Missouri) was an Austro-Hungarian and American swindler and swindler. He gained world fame as “the man who sold the Eiffel Tower. Twice".
Victor Lustig came from the upper classes of the bourgeoisie, was well educated, and was fluent in five languages. From the fight at the age of 19 because of the girl he had a characteristic scar from the left eye to the left ear. After school he served a prison term for petty crimes.
Prior to World War I, he gambled on transatlantic liners and sold a "dollar machine" that ceased to function 12 hours after the sale. With the beginning of the war, this source of income was exhausted.
In 1920, Victor Lustig went to the United States, where he introduced himself as Count Victor Lustig. There, a fine connoisseur of human psychology with aristocratic manners brought his fraudulent skills to perfection. One of his victims was Al Capone. In 1925, Lustig managed to sell the Eiffel Tower to a Parisian rag man, assuring him that the tower was being sold for scrap and that he was an agent of the government carrying out the operation. The deceived merchant was ashamed to report to the police, and Lustig tried the same trick again. However, the new buyer went to the police, and the scam was solved.
After fleeing to the United States, Lustig became a counterfeiter. After numerous fraudulent stories and even an escape from custody the day before the trial, Lustig was sentenced to 20 years in prison and placed in Alcatraz. On March 9, 1947, Lustig died of pneumonia.
Floyd Miller, The Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower, 1961
"Famous swindlers - Victor Lustig"
"Fraudster № 1. or a man who sold the Eiffel Tower… twice" [link not available since June 2019] (Ukr.)