Steve Wynn Wins $7.5 Million Judgment Against Joe Francis

2/23/2012 1:30 AM PST

Steve Wynn Wins $7.5 Million Defamation Judgment Against Joe Francis

Joe Francis
hopefully saved a bunch of money from his "Girls Gone Wild" empire, because a judge just ordered him to pay Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn $7.5 million.

Wynn filed the defamation lawsuit, after Francis said he was going to reveal how Wynn deceived his high-end customers.

The judge determined Francis damaged Wynn's reputation to the tune of $5 million. And the judge heaped on an addition $2.5 million in punitive damages, which serves as punishment for reckless disregard for the truth. 

Francis' lawyer, David Houston, tells TMZ, "We will appeal this order. Joe was not allowed to defend himself."

Francis and Houston tell us, "Even if this order stands, it will only be a small offset from the 10's of millions of dollars that we are requesting from Steve Wynn in another lawsuit -- in a less Wynn-friendly courtroom."