Founder of the “Girls Gone Wild” franchise, Joe Francis recently had a court case against him for a $2.5 million casino debt at the Wynn Las Vegas Casino thrown out of court due to the fact that the casino reportedly waited 16 months before calling in a marker or IOU from Francis.
According to the presiding Clark County District Court judge, Linda Marie Bell, the Wynn had missed their chance to prove that Francis had indeed committed a crime stating that the presumption of fraud did not apply in the case against Francis as he possessed sufficient funds in his bank account to cover the marker at the time that it was issued by the casino.
Under Nevada law, unpaid casino markers are handled in the same manner as bad cheques, this allows plaintiffs to file criminal charges against those owing them money and collect a percentage of the settlement awarded by the court. Obviously this case will set a precedent and Las Vegas Casinos will have to become a great deal more cautious before awarding markers to famous guests.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Francis then mentioned that he would pursue legal action against both the Wynn casino and its CEO and founder Steve Wynn on the grounds of false prosecution with regard to his 2007 debt. Francis also released news statements proclaiming his victory while Wynn Resorts Ltd. spokeswoman Deanna Pettit was not available for comment.
While Francis may have been a clear victor and defeated the house in this instance, he has a past dogged with legal issues including assault, child abuse and prostitution and has also served time in prison for these as well as falsifying income tax returns and bribery. What he will do next waits to be seen… but from reports it seems that legal battles will continue to ensue between Francis and the Wynn resorts group.