LOS ANGELES — Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis is suing the Wynn Las Vegas casino and resport for falsely accused him of reneging on a $2.5 million marker.
In a federal complaint filed in California U.S. District Court, Francis states that he has paid some of the $2.5 million, but does not specify the precise status of the debt.
Francis claims that Wynn Resort chief Stephen Wynn and his employee Barbara Conway caused the Clark County District Attorney's Office to press criminal charges after presenting the marker at a Wells Fargo bank account that they knew had been closed in May 2007 due to Francis' "unrelated legal troubles."
Last September, Francis was exonerated on the criminal charges stemming from allegations of the gambling debt.
In his federal complaint, Francis says he was unable to settle the $2.5 million marker because he was otherwise engaged, with the "tax-related matter."
Francis also says Conway submitted false answers to a bad check/marker complaint form at the Clark County District Attorney's office "so as to employ criminal charges to unfairly collect money Wynn Las Vegas was not owed, by using the threat of prison and felony conviction."
"Furthermore, defendants actively encouraged the Clark County District Attorney's office to press charges and issue a warrant for plaintiff's arrest, despite knowledge that their representations were false," the complaint states.
Francis’ also claims that he was forced to retain criminal defense to protect his freedom and reputation at a substantial cost.
The Girls Gone Wild founder is demanding punitive damages for malicious prosecution, abuse of process, intentional misrepresentation, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy.
Francis is represented by Aaron Aftergood.
Neither party was available for comment at post time.