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July 31, 2004 | From Associated Press
The marketers of the sexually explicit "Girls Gone Wild" videos and DVDs agreed to pay nearly $1.1 million to settle government claims that the company shipped unordered products and then charged customers. As part of the settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, California-based Mantra Films Inc. will pay more than $548,000 to people who received the videos or DVDs and returned them but did not get a refund for shipping costs.
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BUSINESS
February 21, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
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.
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BUSINESS
April 15, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The tax evasion trial of "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis has been moved to Los Angeles. A federal judge granted the change of venue from Reno, saying it was justified because Francis and all but a few of those expected to testify live in Southern California. A federal grand jury indicted Francis, 35, and his companies, Mantra Films Inc. and Sands Media Inc., in April 2007, on two counts of tax evasion.
BUSINESS
July 26, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
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.
BUSINESS
February 21, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
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.
BUSINESS
July 26, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
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.
BUSINESS
April 13, 2007 | From the Associated Press
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.
BUSINESS
April 12, 2007 | Richard Verrier, Times Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
September 26, 2006 | Claire Hoffman, Times Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
December 14, 2006 | Claire Hoffman, Times Staff Writer
The Santa Monica entrepreneur who made a fortune persuading drunken women on spring break to bare their bodies for his "Girls Gone Wild" videos will be making frequent trips to Florida, this time for court-ordered community service. Joe Francis' Mantra Films Inc. was ordered to serve 32 hours of community service each month for 30 months. U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak in Panama City, Fla.
BUSINESS
April 15, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The tax evasion trial of "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis has been moved to Los Angeles. A federal judge granted the change of venue from Reno, saying it was justified because Francis and all but a few of those expected to testify live in Southern California. A federal grand jury indicted Francis, 35, and his companies, Mantra Films Inc. and Sands Media Inc., in April 2007, on two counts of tax evasion.
BUSINESS
July 31, 2004 | From Associated Press
The marketers of the sexually explicit "Girls Gone Wild" videos and DVDs agreed to pay nearly $1.1 million to settle government claims that the company shipped unordered products and then charged customers. As part of the settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, California-based Mantra Films Inc. will pay more than $548,000 to people who received the videos or DVDs and returned them but did not get a refund for shipping costs.
BUSINESS
September 13, 2006 | Claire Hoffman, Times Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2008 | Josh Friedman, Times Staff Writer
"Girls Gone Wild" video mogul Joe Francis denied felony tax evasion charges Monday in Los Angeles, claiming that he was a victim of abuses in an Internal Revenue Service whistle-blower program. In a brief hearing at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Francis, 35, pleaded not guilty to charges that he deducted more than $20 million in phony business expenses on his corporate returns during 2002 and 2003, and trial was set for Sept. 16 in Los Angeles.
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