Steve Wynn Helps Bankrupt Girls Gone Wild

Steve Wynn Helps Bankrupt Girls Gone Wild

Posted on 11/03/13 - by Seth Shafer News

Bad news for horny guys around the world:

The company that owns the Girls Gone Wild franchise announced early in March that it was filing for bankruptcy. The company has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, listing $50,000 in assets and $16.3 million in debt.

Company owner and founder Joe Francis founded Girls Gone Wild in the 1990s and reportedly built a very profitable business based on the premise of drunk girls on spring break doing all sorts of naughty things -- conveniently caught on camera, of course.

The company expanded from videos to magazines and online Web sites and Francis built up a mound of personal cash estimated at $150 million.

The empire began to crumble, however, after an epic gambling spree at the Wynn Casino that saw Francis run up a tab of $2 million in 2009 that he refused to pay.

Bizarre, Soap Opera-esque Storyline

Steve Wynn’s attempts to collect on the debt eventually turned into a bizarre soap opera-esque storyline, with Francis claiming that Wynn was guilty of deceptive practices at his casino and that Wynn had threatened to kill him with a shovel in an e-mail.

Francis described the e-mail as follows in an exclusive interview with Good Morning America:

"In all caps, and then exclamation points -- like a crazy person's email – [Wynn wrote], 'I'm going to hit to him in the back of the head with a shovel and have him buried in the middle of the desert,'" Francis said. "I was afraid for my life. He made it very clear that he wanted to kill me."

During the actual ensuing trial, however, Francis’ story fell apart, with Quincy Jones testifying that he never saw such an e-mail and Francis backtracking and saying that he only saw a flash of the e-mail in print form in a stack of other papers.

Jurors sided with Wynn and awarded him $20 million in damages; attempts to collect the money personally from Francis failed with the next step being to attempt to collect it from his company, which was the impetus behind the bankruptcy filing.

Some believe Francis emptied the corporate accounts in an attempt to hide the money and rid itself of the debts it lists as owed to Wynn.