Fraud Friday: The woman behind the downfall of Al Capone - Spidell

Fraud Friday: The woman behind the downfall of Al Capone


The woman behind the downfall of Al Capone: Mabel Walker Willebrandt. As Assistant Attorney General, she noticed that mobsters lived large but never filed tax returns and therefore could be convicted of tax evasion. After she went after a South Carolina bootlegger and the Supreme Court upheld the conviction, the IRS focused on Capone and ultimately convicted him of three counts of tax evasion. Willebrandt studied law in Los Angeles, where she argued two thousand cases as the city’s first female public defender. In 1921, she was the second woman to be appointed to Assistant Attorney General and the first to head the Tax Division.

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