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Warrant Issued for 'Girls Gone Wild' Founder Joe Francis' Arrest

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** FILE ** Producer of "Girls Gone Wild" Joe Francis waves to fans and the press at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles in this March 12, 2008, file photo. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, file)

A federal judge in California has issued an arrest warrant for Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis because he failed to appear at a hearing in his tax evasion case.

U.S. attorney's office spokesman Thom Mrozek said U.S. District Judge S. James Otero issued the warrant Monday in Los Angeles.

Francis, whose company sells videos featuring scantily clad women, did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment. The hearing was to address his request to hire a new attorney.

Francis is accused of claiming more than $20 million in bogus business expenses on his corporate tax returns, including $3.8 million for a home in Mexico and $10.4 million in phony consulting services.

He has pleaded not guilty. His trial is scheduled for March.

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