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Nicholas Circella aka Nick Dean was a Chicago hoodlum who is often associated with an extortion of the motion picture industry. Active from 1934-1941 Circella, Willie Bioff and George E. Browne were controversial figures who headed a theatrical union. In December 1941 syndicated columnist Westbrook Pegler profiled the trio and labeled them as unsavory types. Browne and Bioff were sentenced to prison terms for extorting millions from Hollywood film producers. Circella was later sentenced to eight years imprisonment for his role in the scheme.