Flesh Impresario Joe Francis late for court, arrested

The king of convincing drunken teenage girls to sign away their dignity – “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis – was yet again taken into custody Monday afternoon by U.S. marshals.

Last summer, Francis pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court to two felony tax evasion charges. He is accused of claiming bogus business expenses on past corporate tax returns.

Francis was five hours late for a scheduled Los Angeles federal court appearance, and originally expected in court at 8:30 a.m. for a hearing on his attorneys’ request to withdraw as his counsel.

The reason for his tardiness was an alleged bout of the flu.

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero waited 30 minutes, then issued a warrant for Francis’ arrest.

According to MSNBC, Francis was cuffed when he showed up at 1:30 PM and taken into custody, said defense attorney Melissa A. Weinberger, whose firm is representing Francis in proceedings stemming from Monday’s bench warrant.

The hearing was made to consider a request made by his attorneys-of-record, the Bernhoft Law Firm, to withdraw as his legal representatives for Francis’ big tax evasion trial next month.

In a court filing last week, defense attorney Robert E. Barnes said that Bernhoft firm decided late last year to end its relationship with Francis based on “strategic differences of opinion.”

Trial is set before Otero on March 31.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.