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Warrant issued for "Girls Gone Wild" creator
February 2, 2009 / 8:49 PM / 9 years ago

Warrant issued for "Girls Gone Wild" creator

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles court on Monday issued an arrest warrant for “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis for failing to appear at a hearing in a tax evasion case.

<p>"Girls Gone Wild" video series producer Joe Francis arrives at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles July 21, 2008. A Los Angeles court on Monday issued an arrest warrant for Francis for failing to appear at a hearing in a tax evasion case. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>

The hearing was set to deal with a request from Bernhoft Law Firm to withdraw as Francis’ legal counsel.

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero issued the arrest warrant when Francis failed to show up for the hearing, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Francis became a multimillionaire by selling videos of young women baring their breasts, usually at parties with free-flowing alcohol. He could not be reached for comment on Monday.

He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted in the tax evasion case, which was filed in 2007 by authorities in Nevada but transferred to L.A. because that is where he lives.

He is accused of failing to pay more than $20 million in bogus business expenses. The tax trial is due to start in March.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by

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