Frank Joseph Caracci (October 12, 1923- September 6, 1996) was a Louisiana businessman, nightclub owner and alleged capo of the New Orleans crime family. He was considered to be a major figure in the Marcello organization.
Caracci was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1970, in a Judiciary Committee hearing he was identified as a "Cosa Nostra involved" gambler and strip club operator. Caracci was also desribed in a Life Magazine article as a "Marcello mobster". He was notably the owner of the Old French Opera House and the 500 Club amognst other French Quarter nightclubs.
Caracci worked closely with fellow New Orleans family soldier Nick Karno, Jack Ruby and powerful crime boss Carlos Marcello. He was once convicted on 3 counts of conspiracy to bribe a Federal tax agent and two years later, he was given two years probation and fined $10,000 for illegally transporting a pinball machine across state lines. In the 1970s, Caracci was arrested in Houston, Texas at a gambling operation allegedly controlled by the New Orleans crime family along with Frank Saia, as well as being observed attending the wedding of Dallas crime family boss Joseph Campisi along with other alleged Mafia members. Caracci was also known to travel to Detroit where he would meet with high ranking members of the Detroit Partnership, including Mafia don Joseph Zerilli, acting as a liason between the New Orleans and Detroit family's.
Federal and state authorities often identified Caracci as a twice-convicted felon and alleged Mafia capo, but he denied any links to organized crime. In 1976, then-Gov. Edwin Edwards gave Caracci a pardon that restored his Louisiana rights.
Later Years Edit
Caracci was linked with attempts by two prominent New Orleans area figures to place video poker machines in business establishments in different states. In one case, former New Orleans Police Assistant Superintendent Antoine Saacks traveled with Caracci to Las Vegas in 1990 as part of a contract Saacks had to find locations for video poker machines in the city. Saacks was suspended from the department for doing business with a video poker company in violation of department regulations. Then, in 1993 and 1994, Caracci's name came up again in connection with Robert Guidry, owner of Kenner's Treasure Chest casino and a video poker company called A.-Ace Video Gaming Co. Under an April 1992 contract, Caracci and his sons were to receive a commission of 25 percent of A.-Ace's profits for any video poker machines they placed in businesses for the company. In that case, A.-Ace fought off a State Police attempt to strip the company of its video poker license because of Caracci's alleged mob ties.
In the 1990s, Caracci's name also came up in Louisiana's video poker scandals in which many members of the New Orleans family, including boss Anthony Carolla, as well as members of the Gambino and Los Angeles crime family were convicted. Caracci reportedly died of natural causes in 1996. His son Mark Caracci became a successful criminal Defense Attorney in New Orleans.