Joe Francis Faces Extradition in Federal Tax Evasion Case

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that 'Girls Gone Wild' mogul Joe Francis will be extradited to Reno to face tax evasion charges after his release next week from a Bay County, Florida jail. 

Francis is scheduled to be released on Tuesday after serving a five-week sentence for contempt of court. Federal Magistrate Judge Larry Boniford made the decision to extradite Francis over the objections of Florida authorities who want to hold Francis until he goes to trial on charges of sexual battery.

The Florida State Attorney's office plans to appeal Bodiford's ruling to U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak. The sexual battery charges stem from a 2003 'Girls Gone Wild' shoot during which Francis allegedly filmed underage girls in sexual situations.

"Our position is that there are outstanding warrants that remain," prosecution spokesman Joe Grammer told the Associated Press.  "If the judge in Nevada says that he will be let out on bond, there is still an active warrant in Florida and that would keep him from being released."

Francis was indicted on the federal tax evasion charges in April, The two-count indictment alleges that Francis illegally deducted more than $20 million in false business expenses from his corporate tax returns in 2002 and 2003, using an offshore bank account to conceal his earnings.

An arraignment has been scheduled for May 22.  If convicted, Francis could get up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.