9. Al Capone Was Charged With Tax Fraud Not Murder
Al Capone basically started from the bottom and worked his way up. When he first arrived in Chicago, he began working for John “Johnny” Torrio, an established mafia boss based in Chicago, who took him under his wing and made him one of his key aides. Then in January, 1925, Torrio was gunned down outside his Illinois home – he survived, but decided to leave Chicago and chose Capone, who was aged just 26-years-old at the time, as his replacement.
Capone successfully expanded the business and his crime syndicate was pulling in around $100 million a year. His profits were largely made from prostitution, gambling and racketeering. He claimed his crimes were a public duty, stating: “Ninety percent of the people of Cook County drink and gamble and my offense has been to furnish them with those amusements.”
Despite Capone being considered the orchestrator of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, where on February 14th, 1929, seven men from a rival gang were gunned down against a wall in a garage, he was never formally charged with murder. In 1931, President Herbert Hoover wanted the federal government to build a case against Capone and all they had to nail him on was income-tax fraud. In October 1931, Capone was charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors of tax fraud. He was sentenced to 11 years behind bars and fined $50,000 – the harshest known tax fraud sentence of it’s time.