Al Capone’s Mistake

Al Capone was the king of crime in Chicago during the Roaring Twenties. He ruled a criminal empire during Prohibition by controlling gambling, bootlegging, prostitution, and most other crime in Chicago.

The FBI knew of his criminal activities. But they couldn’t take any action against Capone because none of his crimes were federal offenses. They had to sit by and watch local law enforcement fail to take him down, a wait that became even more infuriating after the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Finally, in 1929, Capone slipped up. When he was subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury as a witness in February, Capone claimed that he was sick at home and unable to make it. However, FBI agents quickly found him in Miami, out and about and as healthy as ever.

Capone was cited for contempt of court and sent to jail. However, they were unable to hold him and he was released on bond. But that was the beginning of the end.

When Capone was finally tried for the contempt of court citation, a federal judge sentenced him to six months in prison. 

This gave federal Treasury agents enough time to gather evidence that Capone had failed to pay his income taxes. In the end, the murdering, devious crime boss had forgotten to keep an eye on his real enemy: the IRS.