Las Vegas Sun

September 16, 2014

Currently: 98° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

COURTS:

DA trains sights on porn mogul over debt

Felony warrant sought against ‘Girls Gone Wild’ producer

The district attorney’s office is seeking a felony arrest warrant for “Girls Gone Wild” producer Joe Francis for failing to pay $2 million in gambling debts at Wynn Las Vegas.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Bernie Zadrowski, who runs the bad check unit, filed a two-count criminal complaint against Francis on Monday for allegedly cashing a $2.5 million check on a closed bank account at the Wynn in February 2007 to obtain gambling markers.

The complaint, which charges Francis with theft and fraud, and the arrest warrant request were being forwarded to Justice of the Peace Bill Jansen, who was randomly assigned the case.

Zadrowski declined to comment.

But according to a copy of the warrant request, Francis still owes $2 million to the Wynn, plus $220,075 in processing fees to the bad check unit. Under Nevada law, the fees are used to help fund the unit.

Reno attorney David Houston, who is representing Francis in the criminal case, did not return phone calls Monday.

The criminal investigation was opened last month at the request of Wynn Las Vegas, which, along with its chairman, Steve Wynn, is locked in bitter litigation with Francis.

The casino filed suit against Francis in District Court in June seeking to recover its $2 million. That led to a sensational counterclaim last month by Francis who alleged, among other things, that Wynn had supplied him with prostitutes during his 2007 gambling junket as a “personal gift.”

Wynn then filed a defamation suit against Francis, calling the soft-porn producer’s claims “false” and “scurrilous beyond imagination.”

State gaming agents, however, have opened an investigation into Francis’ allegations.

Jerry Markling, chief of enforcement for the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said the review is continuing, but he declined to discuss it.

Jennifer Dunne, a spokeswoman for Wynn Las Vegas, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Francis, who earned a fortune producing videos of drunken, stripping college girls, has had other troubles with the law in recent years.

In March, he pleaded no contest to felony child abuse and misdemeanor prostitution charges in Florida, and he is waiting to stand trial on tax evasion charges that were moved from Reno to Los Angeles federal court.

Jeff German is the Sun’s senior investigative reporter

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.