The extraordinary life of a conman who scammed Al Capone, ‘sold’ the Eiffel Tower and stole jewellery from unsuspecting European aristocrats is investigated in a fascinating new book. 

Victor Lustig was born in January 1890 in the small hamlet of Hostinné, Bohemia, in what is now the Czech Republic. 

By the age of 16, while still at school, Lustig, who went by dozens of aliases over the course of his life, had already learned how to hustle opponents and billiards and understood how to lay odds at the local racecourse.

Over the next 30 years, Lustig honed his skills as a brilliant confidence man and master manipulator. He posed as a fairground medium, dabbled in blackmail, claimed to own London‘s Tower Bridge and developed a talent as a forger. 

Biographer Christopher Sandford traces the remarkable trajectory of Lustig’s life in The Man Who Conned the World

Con man: Victor Lustig (right) was born in  1890 in Hostinné, Bohemia, in what is…

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