`Girls Gone Wild ' founder pleads guilty to federal charges

`Girls Gone Wild ' founder pleads guilty to federal charges

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA [AP] -- Joe Francis, the founder and chief executive of the "Girls Gone Wild" empire, pleaded guilty Monday to violating federal record-keeping laws by failing to document the ages of young women in his racy videos.

The plea is the result of an agreement between Francis and his soft-porn company with the Justice Department.

"It's a fun brand," Francis said afterward about "Girls Gone Wild."

Francis' Santa Monica-based Mantra Entertainment pleaded guilty earlier this month in a federal court in Panama City, Fla., to 10 felonies for the same violations. Mantra had agreed to pay $1.6 million in fines.

MRA Holdings Inc., another company owned by Francis, entered into a deal under which the government would dismiss all charges if MRA abided by the accord for three years. Francis agreed to pay a $500,000 fine to settle charges in Los Angeles.

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