Max Hardcore Sentenced to 46 Months in Federal Prison

TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge today sentenced Paul F. Little — aka Max Hardcore — to 46 months in prison and fines of more than $1.4 million.

U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew allowed Hardcore to remain free pending appeal, while sternly advising him against speaking to the press, Hardcore’s attorney Jeffrey Douglas told XBIZ.

“An appeal will follow and we’re optimistic about [it],” Douglas said. "The appeal will be filed in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."

Bucklew’s recommended prison sentence and fines were at the minimum levels suggested by the federal prosecutors for Hardcore’s 10 counts. Bucklew fined Hardcore $7,500 and Max World Entertainment Inc. for $75,000. The fines on all charges add up to about $1.4 million.

Hardcore must file an appeal within six weeks or have to turn himself in to begin serving the sentence because “the Florida Bureau of Prisons will send him a notice” within that time frame, Douglas said.

The federal government was asking for more stringent sentencing than what the judge ordered. In a memo filed Oct. 1, the Justice Department attorneys suggested the judge compare Hardcore’s obscenity charge to “child pornography, narcotics and fraud.”

The memo also included several quotes in the media given by Hardcore. The Justice Department argued that these were “not indicative of an individual who possesses any level of acceptance of the crimes he committed.”

Hardcore’s defense team dismissed the government’s memo as failing “to make a vital distinction” between “the definition of obscenity as opposed to child pornography, narcotics and virtually any other contraband.”

The defense memo recalled the obscenity precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court ruling “restricted the government from simply finding the most conservative jurisdiction in the country and utilize that community as a site” for prosecution, according to the memo.

The Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section originally charged Hardcore for mailing 10 adult DVDs to central Florida, as well as operating a website that earned about $1.18 million in revenue in 2005 and 2006.