4. Lucky Luciano Declared His Income As $22,000 Per Year
In 1936, Charles “Lucky” Luciano failed to amuse prosecutors when during trial he claimed his annual income was $22,000. Born in Sicily in 1897, Luciano immigrated with his family to New York when he was just 10-years-old and by 1916 he was a leading member of the Five Points Gang, and eventually became the top leader of the New York Mafia.
Luciano made his money be controlling very lucrative criminal rackets in New York City such as illegal gambling, bookmaking, loan-sharking, drug trafficking, and extortion. He was a regular on the broadway scene, owned a chauffeured limo, always dressed smartly and kept a permanent room at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Yet in 1936, when he faced charges for facilitating prostitution, he told the prosecution he made just $22,000 a year. In fact he was grossing over $12 million a year, with a net income of around $4 million after paying bribes to police officials and politicians. He was convicted of 62 counts of compulsory prostitution and sentenced to 30 to 50 years in state prison.