Las Vegas Casino Sues 'Girls Gone Wild' Founder

By: Oskar Garcia AP
By: Oskar Garcia AP

LAS VEGAS (AP) - "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis is being sued by a Las Vegas Strip casino for $2 million in gambling debts from February of last year.

A spokesman for Francis said Tuesday that the man who built the soft porn empire already had satisfied his debt to the Wynn Las Vegas casino through "prior agreements" and that he planned to fight the lawsuit.

"The Wynn hotel has chosen not to honor its agreement to apply certain discounts to balances they have already been paid for," Francis spokesman, Ronn Torossian, said in a statement.

Torossian said Francis was waiting for his day in court with Wynn Resorts Ltd. chief executive Steve Wynn, and planned on "exposing how exactly Mr. Wynn deceives his high end customers."

Wynn Las Vegas spokeswoman Jennifer Dunne said she could not comment on the specifics of the lawsuit, but said that the casino wouldn't sue unless all other options were exhausted.

"We don't file lawsuits against people after 30, 60, 90 days," Dunne said. "This has been an issue with our collections department for some time."

The resort said in the lawsuit filed Friday in Clark County District Court that it loaned Francis $2.8 million in February 2007, but was repaid only $800,000. The suit seeks the remainder ofthe debt plus costs.

Francis, 35, also is facing separate tax evasion charges. Federal lawyers accuse him of claiming more than $20 million in phony deductions for 2002 and 2003, and of using offshore accounts to conceal income. A federal judge in April ordered the trial moved to Los Angeles because Francis and most others expected to testify lived in Southern California.

Francis built his "Girls Gone Wild Empire" by filming and marketing videos of young women exposing their breasts and being shown in other sexually provocative situations.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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