February 21, 2009 |
Buyers of "Girls Gone Wild" videos reached a preliminary settlement over claims they were enrolled in a video club and billed without their knowledge, lawyers for a group of buyers said. Mantra Films Inc., which bills itself as "the corporate infrastructure behind the Girls Gone Wild lifestyle brand," sent buyers of the videos other DVDs they hadn't ordered and charged their credit cards $26 plus shipping and handling, the lawyers said. Mantra has said the customers agreed to be enrolled in the club.
July 26, 2008 |
Joe Francis, the founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" video series who faces felony tax evasion charges, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles alleging that he was defrauded by a former accountant. Francis, 34, who pleaded not guilty this week in Los Angeles in a criminal case involving some $20 million in allegedly phony business expenses, claimed that Michael Barrett, who worked for his Santa Monica-based Mantra Films Inc. from 2002 to 2004, knowingly made mistakes on the company's returns and then initiated an Internal Revenue Service investigation, hoping to reap millions of dollars as a reward.
April 12, 2007 |
The founder of the risque "Girls Gone Wild" empire was indicted Wednesday on two counts of tax evasion by a federal grand jury, the latest in a series of legal woes for the Santa Monica entrepreneur. The indictment in Reno of Joe Francis, 34, follows his arrest by federal marshals Tuesday on a contempt-of-court citation stemming from a civil case in Florida, where he is being held without bail.
April 13, 2007 |
The millionaire founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" video empire was charged Thursday with bribing a jail guard for a bottle of water and having prescription sleeping pills in his cell, authorities said. When he learned of the new charges, Joe Francis waived his right to a bond hearing for the contempt-of-court charge that had led to his being jailed. Francis cried as his mother blew him a kiss while he was led from a federal courtroom back to his cell.
September 13, 2006 |
Joe Francis and the Santa Monica-based company he built on soft-core "Girls Gone Wild" videos pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating federal laws designed to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and agreed to pay fines totaling $2.1 million. Under the terms of a deal with the Justice Department, Francis agreed to personally pay a $500,000 fine to settle charges in Los Angeles that he failed to keep records of the ages and identities of the women who appeared in his films.
September 26, 2006 |
Joe Francis, the founder and chief executive of the "Girls Gone Wild" empire, pleaded guilty Monday to two felony counts of violating federal record-keeping laws by failing to document the ages of young women in his racy videos. The pleas in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles were the result of an agreement announced this month between Francis and the Justice Department after an investigation into whether his Santa Monica companies filmed minors.