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Girls Gone Wild Founder Joe Francis In Hot Water With IRS

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LOS ANGELES -- As founder of the "Girls Gone Wild" franchise, Joe Francis has often been accused of duping women into doing things they wish they had not, especially baring their breasts in front of a video camera.

This time, it is Mr. Francis who says he was fooled -- not by a cameraman, but by his accountant.

The veracity of his claim is likely to be decided in September, when Mr. Francis will be tried in Los Angeles on federal charges that he deducted $20 million in fraudulent expenses on the corporate tax returns filed by his company, Mantra Films.

If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. Even if he is acquitted, the Internal Revenue Service could still seek back taxes, plus penalties and interest.

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