"You set a crook to catch a crook. We put the big honey pot out there and all the flies came to us." ——Mel Weinberg, 60 Minutes, April 12, 1981

1. How long had Mel Weinberg been living a life of crime prior to his capture?
1. 梅尔·温伯格被逮捕之前有多长的犯罪生涯?

As indicated in the American Hustle movie, prior to his capture by the FBI, Mel had been living a life of delinquency ever since he was a boy growing up in the Bronx. It was then that he stole gold stars from his teacher's desk in order to show his mother what an excellent student he was. When his father's window-glass business was on the rocks, a helpful Mel drove around town in a Cadillac, shooting out windows with his slingshot. His father's business surged. His delinquency as a juvenile eventually evolved into large scale swindles as an adult. -Washington Post

2. Why did confessed con man Mel Weinberg agree to help the FBI? 
2. 为什么承认犯罪事实的诈骗犯梅尔·温伯格同意帮助FBI?

The real Irving Rosenfeld, Mel Weinberg, had been running get-rich-quick schemes that mainly included insurance fraud and various other investment scams. His swindling days ended when the FBI nabbed him for operating a bogus international banking and investment firm, London Investors, out of a furnished leased office in Melville, Long Island.

Weinberg's luck ran out in 1977 when a real estate man from Pittsburgh reported him to the FBI. Arrested along with his mistress Evelyn Knight and conspirator Patrick Francis, he was indicted by a federal grand jury for mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. Unlike what is seen in the movie, the real FBI agent behind Bradley Cooper's character Richie DiMaso, whose actual name is Anthony Amoroso, was not on hand for Mel and Evelyn's arrest. Agent Amoroso didn't meet con man Mel Weinberg until after Weinberg agreed to a deal to help the FBI.

Knowing that prison was Weinberg's only option, FBI agent John Good, who was in charge of the Abscam operation, made a deal with Weinberg in hopes that he could lead the FBI to more white collar prey. Like what is shown in the movie, Weinberg agreed to work on four cases in order to keep himself and his mistress out of jail. Once those cases were completed, Weinberg agreed to continue to work for the FBI, leading them to uncover the political corruption that the Abscam operation became known for. -60 Minutes