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Girls Gone Wild founder Francis cops a plea

September 23, 2009 |  6:19 pm

"Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis took a plea deal on charges of filing false tax returns and agreed to pay back $249,705 to the government.

According to the Associated Press, Francis also took a  plea on a charge of bribing Nevada jail workers in exchange for food while he was serving time there. The deal came only weeks before a trial, the AP said, adding that Francis will receive credit for time served (about 10 months) with sentencing set for Nov. 6.

In a statement, Francis thanked Judge James Otero  and noted that he has a lot of catching up to do at work. "Demand for the Girls Gone Wild brand has grown tremendously in the past 12 years and we have a lot of work to do," he said. He also thanked his legal team for putting up with him. "The one thing I've learned about myself during this process is that I can be a difficult client."

Of course, readers of Claire Hoffman's famous Los Angeles Times expose on Francis already know that "difficult" may be a kind way of describing the soft-porn mogul.

-- Joe Flint

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