Joseph DeCarlo (born Feb 23, 1926, died Feb 18, 2016) was a reputed associate of notorious Los Angeles organized crime figure Mickey Cohen.
DeCarlo worked as an entertainment agent and nightclub manager. At one time DeCarlo managed Sonny & Cher and Pips International, a restaurant on Rodeo Drive. DeCarlo also managed famous stripper Candy Barr, a Cohen mistress. In 1948, he was convicted and served a prison term for mail theft.
DeCarlo was amongst Mickey Cohen's associates who were present during the 1959 murder of notorious L.A. bookie "The Enforcer" Jack Whalen and was tried along with Cohen and others for conspiracy. The case went to trial in 1962, but the jury could not reach a verdict, resulting in a mistrial. Charges against Cohen and DeCarlo were dismissed several days later.
In a 1982 hearing before the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, a casino security file was introduced "that identified DeCarlo, who has worked as an entertainment agent and nightclub manager, as having allegedly provided organized crime with prostitutes and associated with reputed bookmakers". In 1982, when Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, then attempting to qualify Playboy for permanent casino licensing in Atlantic City, was questioned about his relationship with DeCarlo. Hefner and DeCarlo had founded Pips International together in 1972, though they had later split as partners. Hefner said in the hearing it would not be "appropriate" to have DeCarlo as a friend, even though he didn't know of anything illegal DeCarlo might have done.
DeCarlo was also a good friend with Los Angeles Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda, who's friendship with DeCarlo landed Lasorda in the middle of Sports Illustrated special report on gambling. Joseph DeCarlo died on Feb 18, 2016