Law and Famous Trials

Al Capone

What was Al Capone tried for?

Notorious American gangster Alphonse “Scarface Al” Capone (1899–1947), whose crime syndicate terrorized Chicago in the 1920s, was brought to trial for income tax evasion. After Chicago police had been unable to bring Capone to justice for his criminal activities, which included trafficking bootleg liquor, gambling, prostitution, and murder, the Federal Bureau of Investigation determined that the only way to prosecute the crime boss would be through violation of the tax laws. For two and a half weeks in October 1931, the case against Capone was heard in a Chicago courtroom. He was found guilty on five counts of tax evasion, sentenced to 11 years in prison, and charged $50,000 in fines and $30,000 in court costs. While his first jail cell, in Illinois’s Cook County Jail, allowed him the luxuries of a private shower, phone conversations, telegrams, and even visits by other gangsters, including “Lucky” Luciano and “Dutch” Schultz, Capone was eventually moved to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, where he received no privileges. Released in 1939, Capone lived out his remaining years with his wife and son in Miami Beach, where he was reportedly haunted by imaginary killers.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App