Joe Francis Hit With Lawsuit from Wynn Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS - Joe Francis, who has been in court to face various allegations in recent years, could find himself there again, as Wynn Las Vegas hotel representatives filed a lawsuit seeking payment for an unpaid gambling debt.


Hotel representatives claim Francis, 35, owes $2 million in unpaid gambling debt dating back to February 2007. Francis, who has not been formally served the court papers, said through a representative on Monday that he has no debt with the resort.


"As far as Mr. Francis is concerned, his obligations to the Wynn hotel have been fully lived up to, per prior agreements," Ronn Torossian, a spokesman for Francis' production company Mantra Entertainment, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.


A Wynn Las Vegas representative declined to comment on the lawsuit.


According to the lawsuit, Wynn Las Vegas gave Francis $2.5 million in credit on Feb. 16, 2007, and another $300,000 on Feb. 18, 2007. The suit states Francis made an $800,000 payment that month but has not made good on the rest of the debt.


The lawsuit was filed June 27 in the Clark County District Court in Las Vegas.


Francis is free on $1.5 million bail, pending a trial on tax-evasion charges. He was released in March after a no-contest plea to several charges under an agreement that allowed him to walk free after nearly a year in jail.


He pleaded no contest to one count of felony child abuse and two counts of misdemeanor prostitution in a case in which he was accused of filming underage girls in Panama City, Fla., during Spring Break 2003.

He also pleaded no contest to two additional child-abuse counts on behalf of Mantra Films.


No date has been set for the tax-evasion trial.