Girls Gone Wild Bankruptcy Will Keep Steve Wynn From Joe Francis' Money

Friday, 01 Mar 2013 10:45 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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The soft-core adult entertainment empire Girls Gone Wild filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to keep Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn from collecting money from founder Joe Francis as part of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.

Francis, 39, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday in California on behalf of GGW Brands LLC and other companies related to the brand to keep Wynn, 71, from collecting debt worth $10.3 million as part of a lawsuit against Francis.

"Girls Gone Wild remains strong as a company and strong financially," a GGW company spokesman wrote in an e-mail statement to The Huffington Post. "The only reason Girls Gone Wild has elected to file for this reorganization is to re-structure its frivolous and burdensome legal affairs. This Chapter 11 filing will not affect any of Girls Gone Wild's domestic or international operations. Just like American Airlines and General Motors, it will be business as usual for Girls Gone Wild."

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Wynn and Francis have been squabbling in court for years. First, Wynn claimed the GGW founder owed a $2 million gambling debt he racked up at the Las Vegas casino in February 2007. Last year, Wynn and his company won a slander lawsuit against Francis and were awarded $7.5 million after a judge ruled Francis had lied when he said he had proof that Wynn had tricked high-roller gamblers, according to the lawsuit. Francis has also previously claimed that Wynn threatened to kill him.

Lawyers for the Wynn resort have shifted their strategy recently and started to go after Francis' company's assets. By filing bankruptcy, Francis has stopped their ability to collect.

"Francis has effectively evaded meaningful collection by making it appear that he has virtually no income or assets, despite his publicly lavish lifestyle," Wynn attorneys said in the lawsuit. "Wynn has confirmed what it has long suspected, namely that Francis has avoided Wynn's collection efforts by, among other things, not taking any income and using accounts held by various entities that do business under his 'Girls Gone Wild' brand to pay all his personal expenses."

Francis has been embroiled in scandal after scandal. In 2009, he pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns. He spent 301 days in jail on tax evasion charges and later pleaded guilty to bribing guards for food during his time behind bars.

Related stories:

Judge in Reno Won't Stop 'Girls Gone Wild' Trial

'Girls Gone Wild' Creator Joe Francis Arrested

Jennifer Aniston Part of 'Girls Gone Wild' Producer's Defense

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