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Early movers and shakers of Los Angeles didn’t always operate within the confines of the law, including opportunist and family man Big George Niotta, who supplied sugar to make illegal liquor. Niotta rose to prominence thanks to his magnetic charm and collaborations with infamous bootlegger Frank Borgia and influential gambling baron Jack Dragna. But the fall is hard for those soaring high. Bled dry by the IRS, Niotta fought to restore his wealth through ringer horses, a multimillion-dollar lottery and a notorious gambling parlor. Through the moves of a pawn dead set on wearing a crown, author J. Michael Niotta explores three decades of L.A. crime, including a rare insider’s look at the history of the Eagle Brewing Company and other survivors of Prohibition.