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The Legal Troubles of Joe Francis

Founder of 'Girls Gone Wild'


Joe Francis

Joe Francis

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Joe Francis, who has made millions with his 'Girls Gone Wild' videos and magazines, has found himself entangled in legal trouble in civil and criminal courts on the state and federal levels. He has faced criminal charges in Florida and tax evasion charges in federal court in Reno, Nevada.

Current Developments

Joe Francis Convicted of Assault
May 6, 2013
Legal problems continue to follow "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis. The 40-year-old video producer who has made a fortune exploiting young, drunk females, has been convicting of assaulting a woman he met at a Hollywood nightclub.

Previous Developments

Joe Francis Ordered to Pay $20M
Sept. 10, 2012
Legal troubles continue for the founder of the 'Girls Gone Wild' video softporn franchise. A jury has ruled that Joe Francis knowingly slandered casino owner Steven Wynn and ordered him to pay the Las Vegas mogul $20 million in damages.

Jury Clears Joe Francis in Civil Case
April 7, 2011
An all-woman jury in Panama City, Florida deliberated 14 hours before declining to award four women any damages in their civil lawsuit against "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis. Although the jury had problems with his business practices, they could not find that he was responsible for the psychological damage the plaintiffs claimed.

'Girls Gone Wild' Civil Trial Opens
March 28, 2011
Repeated warnings from a federal judge that he is not doing himself any favors by acting as his own attorney has not stopped 'Girls Gone Wild' founder Joe Francis from trying to turn the proceedings into a farce. Judge Richard Smoak has threatened Francis with contempt, told him to shut up and suggested his antics are those of a 'reckless fool.'

Joe Francis Back in Court Again
Feb. 7, 2011
The founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" empire just does not seem to be able to stay out of court. After spending years fighting tax charges, Joe Francis has now been indicted by a grand jury on charges of not paying a gambling debt to a casino on the Las Vegas strip.

'Girls Gone Wild' Founder Gets Plea Deal
Nov. 6, 2009
The founder of the soft porn "Girls Gone Wild" has accepted a plea agreement in his tax evasion case on the day before his trial was set to begin. Under the deal, Francis was sentenced to time already served and one year probation.

Joe Francis Back in Trouble Again
Feb. 2, 2009
Joe Francis, the founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" video empire was back in jail Monday after a federal judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest for failing to show up at a hearing in his tax evasion case. The hearing was scheduled at 8:30 a.m. Francis was arrested at 1:30 p.m. when he showed up with his new attorney.

Joe Francis Files Lawsuit to Rescind Settlement
Aug. 19, 2008
Claiming that he was coerced by a federal judge, the founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series has filed a lawsuit in California asking that a settlement he signed with three underage girls in Panama City, Florida be rescinded. Joe Francis says in the lawsuit he would never have signed the agreement had he not been incarcerated by the judge.

Francis Accuses Judge of Conflict of Interest
March 25, 2008
"Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis is claiming that a federal judge is teaming up with a former law partner to target him for retribution. Francis says U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak is behind a new lawsuit filed last week accusing him of soliciting minors to participate in sexually provocative videos.

Joe Francis Enters Plea
March 12, 2008
"Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis entered no contest pleas in Panama City, Florida, to child abuse and prostitution charges in a plea agreement that allowed him to walk free after 11 months in jail. The 39-year-old Francis was sentenced to 339 days and given credit for time already served.

Tax Trial Delayed for 'Gone Wild' Founder
Feb. 29, 2008
In April 2007, the founder of the multimillion dollar "Girls Gone Wild" video empire was sentenced to 35 days in jail for contempt of court. Now, almost a year later, Joe Francis remains incarcerated in Nevada where he faces federal tax charges, but still with a no-bail warrant outstanding in Florida.

'Gone Wild' Founder Gets 35 Days in Jail
April 24, 2007
The founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos, who made a reported $29 million selling videos of partially nude, intoxicated girls, pleaded guilty to contempt of court charges and was sentenced to 35 days in jail. Shedding tears, Joe Francis apologized to the court for screaming obscenities at the plaintiffs during settlement discussions.

'Girls Gone Wild' Creator Ordered Jailed
April 6, 2007
The founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos, who has made a fortunate convincing drunken girls to expose their breasts, was ordered to jail for contempt of court by a federal judge. Joe Francis defied the judge and refused to surrender to U.S. marshals, saying it was a case of a "judge gone wild."

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