Talk:Victor Lustig

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Former featured article candidate Victor Lustig is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
March 1, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted

older entries[edit]

He did this in 1925 and was arrested in 1907? Continuity people. It's probably '27 but I could be wrong.

No, both statements are correct. He pulled the same scam twice, but sadly I do not know enough about the man to make any alterations to this article to clean it up properly. Seth0708 08:56, 11 February 2007 (UTC)


The client would inform the police, only to find that Lustig had closed up shop and moved on. Are you sure? I would really like to see a source for this... The reason is that many scams such as these often rely on the fact that ones discovered, the police cannot be informed. In this case, the individuals that purchased the machine would be convicted of counterfeiting money, to which they'd obviously confess when making their police report. To this day, this is a major point in many of such cons - the victim would either be too embarrassed or legally unable to go to the police (as is the case here) due to the illegality of their own actions.

P.S. I'll try to look into this myself, but if not I'll remove the sentence in a month or so...

Konstantin3307 23:05, 13 April 2007 (UTC)Konstantin3307

"The client would inform the police, only to find that Lustig had closed up shop and moved on." Removed the sentence for the aforementioned reasons. To summarize, victims of such scams are unable to turn to the police since they were attempting to engage in a criminal act; this is a common part of many scams. For example, if you buy a counterfeiting machine, you can't complain to the Better Business Bureau if it breaks down on the second day... ;)

Konstantin3307 01:07, 18 May 2007 (UTC)


"On March 9, 1947, he contracted pneumonia and died two days later at the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. On his death certificate, his name is listed as Robert V. Miller and his occupation was listed as "apprentice salesman.""

Is this implying that it wasn't really him that died? Or that he has been operating under a false name? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ormaybemidgets (talkcontribs) 04:21, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

it means probably that lustig wasnt actually his real name. many con artists use fake names so they cant easily be tracked. using different passports, wigs and never credit cards, they are basically invisable.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 30 September 2011 (UTC) 
Shouldn't then the identity be specified as dubious? claims that Miller was his birth name, although I wouldn't trust that one either. Zeus Scrofa (talk) 10:11, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Last Name Pronunciation[edit]

Can someone please add to the article how to pronounce his last name? Colorsontrial (talk) 17:30, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

We would first need a reliable source on how to do so. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 17:54, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
"Lustig" is the correct spelling for "funny" in German, and Lustig was born in the German-speaking Sudetenland (or claimed to have been, anyway). It's reasonable to grab the pronunciation for that word from Wiktionary. I'll add it right now. Nicolas Perrault (talk) 23:50, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

Second Sale of the Eiffel Tower[edit]

"...A month later, Lustig returned to Paris, selected six more scrap dealers, and tried to sell the Tower once more. This time, the chosen victim went to the police before Lustig could close the deal, but Lustig and Collins managed to evade arrest"

Different information exists about the second sale of the Eiffel Tower. Below is excerpt from the book "The Man Who Sold The Eiffel Tower" by James F Johnson (Secret Service agent who caught Lustig), 1961 Edition published by Doubleday & Co, page 86. Johnson says they actually did manage to sell the tower for the second time.

... The did return to Paris and they did sell the tower the second time. The second mark screamed bloody murder when he discovered he'd been taken, thus preventing a third sale.

If anyone is aware of any sources that can clarify this, please comment. French press archives from 1925 perhaps ?

--Cozzamara (talk) 05:14, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Later Years[edit]

Currently, the last paragraph of this section reads: "...out of jealousy, by his mistress Billy Mays,..." Something tells me that this isn't right. I don't have time right now to dig out who his actual mistress was, but can someone try to fix that? (talk) 19:46, 21 February 2010 (UTC)vkraven

Swedish word Etymology[edit]

In Swedish (and possible other languages), Lustig means funny or trickster. This word may very well have come from here. Does anyone have a source perhaps on this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

No, it's much older in those languages. On the other hand, this obvious meaning of the name is a hint that it might not be his real name (a point already raised on this page in connection with another name being listed on his death certificate). Lustig does mean "funny, amusing" in German, and the guy was born and grew up in pre-WW1 Austria, didn't he (born in present-day Czech republic)? It seems unlikely that Lustig would have been around as a family name in a German-speaking country (well, the area was multilanguage, but it's a German-rooted name/word and German was the official language of the country at the time), it's sort of like if an American family were called Boozard, Stupidon or Junkhouse. (talk) 01:04, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
He came from an area that was majority German before 1945. So the name is 99% German in origin and a connection to Sweden very unlikely — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:07, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Smithsonian article[edit]

Here's an article on Lustig in the Smithsonian magazine: . I've added it to the article, as an External Link. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Article contradicting the sources. Needs thorough cleanup?[edit]

The article contradicts reference #2 (which is the same as reference #1) on the number of metal traders invited to submit the “first round” Eiffel tower bid, and that reference also admits uncertainty about the identity of the “winning bidder” while the article – without citation to any source – appears cocksure. The name Poisson is however supported by , which also does contradict the number of six, and furthermore the sum earned from Capone; and is there any reason to believe that the exact sum is known? Zeus Scrofa (talk) 10:13, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Ocean liners departing from Paris?[edit]

Surely this is erroneous? PavePenny (talk) 00:12, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

yep! edited to "the Atlantic ports of France". Paris is more than a hundred miles up the Seine, while Le Havre sits at its mouth and some other key Atlantic ports are on the Bay of Biscay. (talk) 15:27, 27 June 2015 (UTC)