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‘Girls Gone Wild’ founder gets slapped… with fines

Joe Francis faces fines levied by bankruptcy judge in the wake of gambling debts and the crumbling of his racy empire

It’s no surprise that the mastermind behind the “Girls Gone Wild” (GGW) empire is a bit of a wild man himself. But after years of bad behavior – including a massive gambling problem – the company’s founder, Joe Francis, has found himself naked – financially speaking, of course.

Francis’ latest problems come not from those angry about the sexist nature of GGW or those who regret starring in the videos, but rather from a federal judge. Judge Sandra Klein kept calm enough as she ruled that Francis must pay a fine of $5,000 per day until he returns two luxury cars that belong to the GGW business, which was recently sold out of bankruptcy

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Francis had reportedly gone wild with his gambling, racking up a debt of over $30 million. As a result, he was forced to file for Chapter 11 in order to block a Las Vegas businessperson from seizing the company.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Francis got himself into more hot water last year when he went wild again – this time on his own employees. He allegedly threatened them, yelling and cursing at workers at GGW headquarters.

The latest problems, though, add to a story that seems to be a work of fiction. Francis claims that he cannot return the 2007 Cadillac Escalade or the 2012 Bentley to corporate headquarters… because they have been seized by a Mexican strip club owner who is apparently mad that GGW promotions at his club have fallen through.

You can’t make this stuff up.

 

Senior Editor

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A. in English Literature...

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