'Gone Wild' founder indicted on gambling charge

Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis poses on the press line at the Girls Gone Wild Magazine Launch at Area night club in West Hollywood, Calif. on Tuesday, April 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)

February 2, 2011 5:12:48 PM PST
A grand jury in Las Vegas has indicted "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis on charges that he didn't pay a $2.5 million gambling debt.

Francis told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he'll fight the charges in a case that has been pending nearly three years.

The Clark County district attorney's office says the producer behind the soft porn empire is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 16.

Francis is accused of signing gambling markers, essentially IOUs, at the Wynn Las Vegas casino in February 2007 without being able to repay.

Francis says the money isn't owed. He says Wynn tried to cash the marker 15 months after it was issued, after his bank closed the account.

Francis is charged with theft and passing a check without sufficient funds.