The multimillionaire founder of the popular "Girls Gone Wild" video empire was sentenced to community service on Wednesday after the company pleaded guilty to federal charges of failing to monitor the ages of the women it films.

Mantra Films Inc. also agreed to pay $1.6 million in fines for using drunken 17-year-olds in videos it filed on Panama City Beach during Spring Break and failing to properly label its DVDs and videos as required by federal law.

U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak told company founder Steve Francis he added the community service to the fine because it did not appear a fine would be a meaningful punishment to the 33-year-old Francis, who makes an estimated $40 million a year.

The fine represents less than 3 percent of Mantra films' profits since 2002 and only 12 percent of Mantra's 2005 profits, Smoak said.

Besides Francis, the judge also ordered the founder's three top aides — likely the company president, general counsel and chief financial officer — to also complete eight hours of community service monthly for the next 30 months. But Smoak gave Francis the option of "stepping up" and serving 16 hours a month of community service himself and voiding his corporate officers' obligations to do the service.

"It does not take a very brave man to go out and corner a girl in the middle of spring break who had four drinks," Smoak told Francis.

Francis said his policy has always been not to film girls under 18 and that the girls filmed in Panama City lied about their ages. Aaron Dyer, an attorney for Francis and the company, said his client would serve the judge's sentence.

Dyer said he did not know whether Francis would take on the entire sentence himself or have his corporate officers participate in the community service as well.

"I don't believe we will be filing and appeal," he said. "The type of conduct that led to the probation will not happen again."

According to court papers, Mantra Films, based in Santa Monica, Calif., admitted to violating record-keeping and labeling laws while distributing the videos during all of 2002 and part of 2003.

Founded in 1997, Mantra released 83 different titles and sold 4.5 million videos and DVDs in 2002, according to Hoover's Inc., a business data firm in Austin, Texas.

A second company owned by Francis, MRA Holdings LLC, entered into a deferred agreement on charges of improper labeling. Under that agreement with prosecutors, the charges would be dismissed after three years if MRA Holdings cooperates with future government prosecutions, admits wrongdoing and pays fines.

Francis faces a Jan. 22 sentencing hearing in a Los Angeles federal court on similar charges in which he has agreed to pay $500,000 in fines.

Also pending against Francis are state felony charges in which he is accused of using children in sexual performances. He is accused of participating in the filming of two 17-year-old girls in sexual situations at a Panama City Beach motel in the same 2003 case that led to the federal charges.

Many of the state felony charges have been dropped by prosecutors due to a lack of evidence in the case that is set for trial next year. The remaining charges could be dropped at a Jan. 3 hearing when a judge considers a defense motion to dismiss all charges in the 2003 case.

A judge in July threw out evidence investigators gathered while searching Francis' condominiums and private jet because of problems with the search warrants.