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IRS still not done with Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis

Joe FrancisEarlier this month, Girls Gone Wild promoter Joe Francis plea-bargained his way out of a possible prison sentence for charges related to filing false tax returns. By pleading guilty to filing false tax returns and bribing Nevada jail workers, Mr. Francis was sentenced to time served and one year of probation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Initially accused of taking $20 million in fraudulent tax deductions, Francis ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor, the newspaper reported.

"It took us seven months, but in the end we demonstrated that the felony tax charges never should have been brought in the first place," Brad Brian, Francis' lead trial attorney, said in a statement.

But now the IRS is back for more.

According to TMZ, "The IRS wants some serious "Girls Gone Wild" money, because they've filed a lien against Joe Francis for a whopping $33,819,087.14 ... this according to documents obtained by TMZ." The IRS says he failed to pay $17,658,358 in 2001, $11,238,582.14 in 2002, and $4,922,147 in 2003.

Just how lucrative is the market for raunchy videos of college girls? You have to make a lot of money to owe $33.8 million in back taxes -- although Mr. Francis apparently told TMZ that he will now have to file for bankruptcy protection. President Obama should step in to make sure that Mr. Francis stays in business -- the Treasury Department rejected Francis' request for bailout money earlier this year, but it may be time to reconsider. Just think about how many jobs he's creating for unemployed recent college graduates!

Fortunately, Mr. Francis has also had some good news this week: according to news reports, he won a preliminary legal battle in Panama City, in a case related to allegations that he taped underage women nude.

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