Criminal Law

Crim. Law Journal Winter 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 1

HOW PROSECUTORS BROUGHT DOWN LUCKY LUCIANO*

By C. Joseph Greaves**

Photo Illustration by Brenan Sharp and Stephen Webster

The telephone rang at midnight, jolting Samuel Kornbluth from an already-troubled sleep. Maurice Cantor began by apologizing for the unseemly hour. A lawyer best known for his representation of the late Arnold Rothstein, Cantor wanted to know whether Kornbluth was still acting as counsel for Dorothy Russell Calvit, the daughter of stage legend Lillian Russell. Yes, Kornbluth replied—was there something the matter with Dorothy? Nothing of the sort, Cantor assured him. But he had with him a colleague who would very much like to speak with Calvit’s lawyer. May he put George Morton Levy on the line?

Now Kornbluth was wide awake. Levy, he knew, was in the midst of defending alleged mob boss Charles "Lucky" Luciano in that sensational vice case brought by the crime-busting special prosecutor, Thomas E. Dewey. But what could Levy possibly want from him and, more importantly, from Dorothy Calvit?

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