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Joe Francis: Tort Gone Wild

19francis.2.190.jpgGirls Gone Wild founder/sleaze monkey Joe Francis and his attorneys at Bernhoft Law have breathlessly declared “war” … on the law.

Francis says he was tricked into doing things he didn’t really want to do and now feels embarrassed, exposed and vulnerable (pay back’s a bitch, ain’t it?).

At a press conference in L.A. today Francis and his attorneys announced multiple law suits he’s filing/has filed: First, he is suing his former accountant, Michael Barrett for “setting him up,” as the New York Times reports:

Mr. Francis says that his internal accountant set him up, filing the 2002 and 2003 tax returns in question for Mantra Films and then blowing the whistle to the I.R.S. with the goal of reaping a bounty for turning in a tax cheat. On July 25, Mr. Francis filed a civil suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the accountant, Michael Barrett.

Francis is also suing the cops and other officials involved in his arrest and prosecution for child abuse in 2003.

Ross Johnson of L.A. Strategic (pictured over Francis’ shoulder here) alerted us to Joe’s Declaration of War — in the form of a press release:

“Girls Gone Wild” founder and Bernhoft Law press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m. at Beverly Wilshire Hotel

(Los Angeles, CA; Monday, August 18, 2008) — Robert Bernhoft and Robert Barnes of Bernhoft Law will be hosting a press conference with “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 19, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

On the agenda is, simply put, a declaration of war.

On Tuesday morning, Bernhoft Law, via a suit to be filed in Los Angeles Superior Court that morning, will begin to tear apart the rigged legal machinery that resulted in the miscarriage of justice — featuring false imprisonment, Southern-fried Panhandle lawyers, ten-cent plaintiffs — against Joe Francis in Bay County Florida, a.k.a. Panama City, Florida, a.k.a. the land of march or die for black Florida teens.

Bernhoft and Barnes also represent Francis in his battle with the Internal Revenue Service, who recently indicted Francis on two counts of felony tax evasion.

Bernhoft and Barnes will speak to the press on Tuesday about the causes of action in the L.A. Superior Court lawsuit to be filed Tuesday. They will also address certain facts about the IRS indictment against Francis and the IRS’s controversial “rat-out-your-boss” informant program that resulted in Francis’ tax indictment.

Bernhoft and Barnes gained international recognition at the Wesley Snipes tax trial earlier this year in Ocala, Florida, when they successfully attacked the Florida federal justice system. It was a system that has long flourished in Ocala where almost no African-Americans show up in federal court to serve on juries. Snipes, after a two-week federal trial in front of an all-white jury, was acquitted on all felony counts. (Snipes was convicted on three misdemeanor counts of willfully failing to file a tax return.)

After Bernhoft and Barnes address the legal issues on Tuesday, Joe Francis will address the media. Mr. Francis’ talk will be limited in scope due to legal restraints, but those who know Joe know that he has never been afraid of the truth. And the truth is what Joe Francis is ready to fight for, even if it means going to war.

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