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Joe Francis --

Indicted Over Alleged

$2M Gambling Debt

2/2/2011 5:15 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

A grand jury has officially indicted "Girls Gone Wild" honcho Joe Francis over the $2 million he allegedly owes in gambling debts to casino mogul Steve Wynn -- charging him with felony theft and fraud.

0202_francis
Wynn sued Francis over the debt back in 2009 and won ... but Francis has continued to refuse to pay up, claiming Wynn owed him a discount on his losses -- and now it's become a criminal matter.

According to the documents filed today in Las Vegas, Francis took out $2.5 million in markers with Wynn Casino in exchange for gaming chips nearly four years ago -- but there was one big problem ... the casino claims he didn't have the cash in his bank account to back it up ... and they never got the funds.

Francis has since only paid off $500,000 of the debt.

Now, a Vegas grand jury has ordered Francis to stand trial against the 2 criminal charges. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.

Francis tells us, "I'm 100% confident that I will prevail, just like I always do. Steve Wynn has enormous influence over the politicians in the Las Vegas area ... so I'm sure he's behind this."

Francis adds, "The moral of the story is don't gamble at the Wynn casinos or this could happen to you."

46 COMMENTS

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1.

Annie     

Time to make another tape Joe?? LOL

1358 days ago
2.

Tammy    

Shouldn't the moral of the story be: don't pass bad checks?

1358 days ago
3.

Cartman    

I hope they put him in OJ's cell.

1358 days ago
4.

Bob    

Or is the moral "Don't be a low-rent deadbeat douche"?

1358 days ago
5.

TXLady    

OK, let me get this straight.... He writes a check to the casino to purchase chips to gamble four years ago but the check bounces. He does pay back 20% of HIS DEBT, but feels like he should get a discount on the $2,000,000 balance so he refuses to pay. REALLY? WHY? In my opinion he owes interest on top of the outstanding debt and should be forced to pay the debt, interest and ALL legal fees related to attempts to collect the money! I've written checks at casinos (admittedly for much more modest amounts) and I only risk what I can afford to lose. Obviously this concept is lost on Joe Francis.

1358 days ago
6.

CriticAl    

Have the money or don't gamble, you welcher. You're a little penny ante twerp pretending to be a high roller.

1358 days ago
7.

JoeFrancis    

Any females want to be on my next video(s)? Need as many women as possible, even the fatties are welcomed.

The only form of payment i can promise you is a date with Charlie Sheen once he's out of rehab. Think of it like playing the lottery; you get him to marry you then you're set for life!

1358 days ago
8.

anon.    

Joe, you can't write and bounce bad checks. It's against the law brains!!! He is pathetic to think he is above the law:(

1358 days ago
9.

Davey Boy    

The moral of the story REALLY is...pay your debt and this won't happen to you.

Just sayin'.

1358 days ago
10.

Stephanie    

Joe, you need to have morals before there is a "Moral" to a story.

1358 days ago
11.

John    

Nevada has a fu in the pooper law if your write a bad check to cover gambling debt and it can be a felony....

doesn't matter if its 5.00 bucks or 5 mill... the DA's do push these cases here. the worst mistake ever is to write a bad check here...

1358 days ago
12.

northern gypsy    

((( earth calling J.F.))) ...you wrote a cheque...it bounced...
consider the big house as a vacation...after S.W. is finished with you !!!

1358 days ago
13.

Damon    

Is Nevada is the ony remaining state that engages in debtor's prison?

1358 days ago
14.

Robert    

Have you seen the movies Casino and Goodfelles. You don't mess with Las Vegas casinos. This guy is going to find himself buried in a hole in the desert. These guys mean business.

1358 days ago
15.

Robert    

Have you seen the movies Casino and Goodfelles ? This guy is going to find himself buried in a hole in the desert. You don't mess with Las Vegas casinos. These guys mean business.

1358 days ago
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