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April 24, 2007

35 days in jail for Girl Gone Wild founder Joe Francis

Girl Gone Wild founder Joe Francis will be spending some more time behind bars, where he has been for the past two weeks.

Francis was sentenced to 35 days in jail (minus the 13 he has served) and fined $5,000 on contempt charges, according to E! Online.

U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak took the X-rated video entrepreneur to task after Francis profanely lashed out last month at seven underage Girls Gone Wild  participants who were suing him for exploitation. While Smoak initially let mediation continue, he slapped Francis with the contempt charge after determining that the 34-year-old multimillionaire had only extended an offer to the plaintiffs to avoid the contempt citation.  

Francis' lawyer, Jan Handzlik, wanted his client's contempt sentence reduced to 30 days, because the extra five days could lead to an automatic year in prison if Francis is convicted of tax fraud.  The judge didn't buy it.

Francis is accused of falsly reporting $20 million in expenses on his last two corporate tax returns and funneling more than $15 million in revenue to offshore bank accounts.  

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