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Girls Gone Wild’s Joe Francis is Outraged

joe_frffancis_300.jpgBernhoft Law attorneys will make a statement this morning after Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis is arraigned in his felony tax evasion case. Robert Bernhoft, the law firm’s press release reminds us, “previously obtained acquittals on all felony counts for former IRS investigator Joe Bannister (a trial memorialized in Pulitzer Prize-winning David Cay Johnston‘s Perfectly Legal).

Though you’ll have to wait for mid-morning to get the live statement, you can enjoy the written statements here … particularly our favorite:

“The truth will reveal that the case against Francis is ‘about an accountant who thinks he should be rewarded for his own mistakes, mistakes that will cost Joe millions of dollars. The IRS says the accountant should get millions and Joe prison for mistakes the accountant made and never told Joe he made. That’s outrageous.’”

Riiight. Of all the issues about, of and relating to Joe Francis, that’s the thing that’s outrageous.


(Los Angeles, CA; Sunday, July 20, 2008) — Robert Bernhoft and Robert Barnes, trial litigators for Joe Francis in Francis’ felony tax evasion case, will make a statement and field questions on Monday, July 21, after Francis’ arraignment.

Francis was indicted in April, 2007 after the former corporate accountant for Francis’ Mantra Films contacted the IRS and requested millions in bonuses to report Francis for accounting mistakes made during the accountant’s tenure at the company. Several of the returns at issue, now alleged to be false, were reviewed by the accountant, who is now attempting to profit from a controversial government bounty program that rewards people in the millions of dollars who identify tax errors in tax returns.

Attorney Bernhoft, who’s obtained acquittals in three of the most hotly-contested felony tax trials this decade, promises that the truth will reveal that the case against Francis is “about an accountant who thinks he should be rewarded for his own mistakes, mistakes that will cost Joe millions of dollars. The IRS says the accountant should get millions and Joe prison for mistakes the accountant made and never told Joe he made. That’s outrageous.”

Bernhoft and Barnes, both of Bernhoft Law with offices in Malibu, were the lead trial attorneys for Wesley Snipes during the actor’s January, 2008 tax fraud trial in Ocala, Florida, and obtained complete acquittals on all felony counts against Snipes.

Bernhoft notes parallels in the press coverage of Francis and that of Snipes.

“Many wrongly assumed Wes Snipes was guilty of the felony charges against him,” said Bernhoft. “When we raised various facts for Wes during his trial, the local press said we were crazy. The jury heard the same facts, and acquitted Wes of all felony charges.

“I challenge those in L.A. who presumed Joe’s guilt on these felony charges to stick around and look at the actual facts of Joe’s case. It will surprise and shock many.

“This case is about an extreme case of an accountant’s greed. This guy was looking to cash in. It’s that simple.”

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