The Curious Case Of The Man Who Sold Eiffel Tower

The Curious Case Of The Man Who Sold Eiffel Tower

Count For the largest and bravest con ever, Victor Lustig is regarded as the greatest con artist. With a criminal career that began at an early age, his most recent plan rocked the world when he succeeded in selling the Paris Eiffel Tower not once, but twice. Victor Lustig was a genius who was born in a small town in Austria-Hungary. He was the biggest con man in history, knew five languages, and had a hypnotic charm. He used to use just his charm to con wealthy vacationers.

1. First-ever Con Artist

Unbelievably, Victor accepted to the Sorbonne, one of Europe’s most esteemed colleges. His decision to leave school and pursue a career in street education caused his life to take a negative turn. By the time he was 25, he was living abroad and committing crimes under numerous aliases. 

He had become the biggest con artist on the planet due to the deception of his profession.

2. Tried selling Eiffel Tower 

Lustig invited the leading businesses in the metal sector to a meeting at the hotel in a letter he wrote to them. He said in the letter that the Eiffel Tower needed to be demolished because of design flaws, costly repairs, and other political reasons that he was unable to discuss. 

He planned to pose as a state official, and thanks to his intelligence and charisma, he was able to convince just about everybody to believe him.

The highest bidder would get the skyscraper, according to the rules. He adhered to the belief that selling the Eiffel Tower was a rational decision since the French government required greater financial resources to recover from World War I.

3. Countless Offers 

Offers hurled at Victor. Andre Poisson was the “winner,” having fallen for a 350 million US dollar swindle. Surprisingly, Victor’s fraud went undetected. Poisson didn’t report him even after realizing he had been duped because he didn’t want to look foolish in front of his coworkers. Moreover, just one month later, “Count” Victor Lustig ran the con again, buoyed by his success. 

However, this time the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) was after him for not only selling the Eiffel Tower for the first time but also for mass-producing fake currency that harmed the American economy in 1920.

Also read: Indian Predator

4. He became Greedy 

Like other criminals, he destroyed by greed. Up to September 28, 1935, Lustig was successful in breaking the law. The signal given to FBI agent Fred Gruber that evening by G. K. Firestone. The two got in the car and drove around nine streets looking for the count. The federal agents eventually produced their firearms.

The con began to take root. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. After Victor Lustig detained, a New York judge gave him a 20-year prison term. Moreover, he passed away from pneumonia at Alcatraz Prison two years later.

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

A writer who's always keen on learning and experiencing new things. Baking, painting, and writing is what brings a smile to her face.