“Girls Gone Wild” Founder Takes Plea

“Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis has agreed to a plea arrangement that will significantly reduce his outstanding tax liability and keep him out of jail (for a bit – I’m making no promises about what he’ll do next). Francis has agreed to plead guilty to two counts of filing false tax returns and one count of bribing Nevada jail workers.

Francis, who has already spent 301 days in jail, will receive credit for time served. In addition, he will receive a year of supervised release and pay a quarter of a million dollars in restitution. The agreement, which slashed the potential jail sentence for Francis, doesn’t completely put an end to Francis’ tax woes but does require tax issues relating to Francis or his companies from 2002 to 2008 to be handled in civil or administrative arenas.

Francis had been accused of tax evasion relating to his business. Francis’ attorney, Brad D. Brian, has said – and I’m not making this up – that prosecutors “didn’t understand Francis’ business model” and the expense related to the “Girls Gone Wild” brand.

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