Joe Francis Thinks He No Longer Owes $33M in Back Taxes

LOS ANGELES—TMZ, the Joe Francis breaking news website, is reporting that the Girls Gone Wild founder is "off the hook" for $33 million the Internal Revenue Service said in November he owed them. Turns out he doesn't. Punk'd!

Here's what we might know. In November, the IRS slapped Francis with a federal tax lien for failure to pay $17,658,358 for the 2001 tax year, $11,238,582.14 for 2002 and $4,922,147 for 2003.

At the time, Francis told TMZ that he was going to file for personal bankruptcy as a result, but that didn't happen. Instead, he sued the feds to get his money back, and apparently it is that case in which he prevailed Monday, though it took a call from TMZ to let him know about it.

"After a little digging, Joe called us back and said he 'thinks' the lien was just released (meaning the government dropped it)—but that he didn't actually pay anything," said TMZ. "Must be nice to not even know if you just shelled out $33 million to the federal government."