A daily fine of $5,000 has been levied against Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis by a federal judge, according to The Wall Street Journal. The fine will be charged daily until he returns two luxury cars that belong to the porn industry.
The fines began on Friday and they came at the ruling of Judge Sandra Klein. She did not accept the explanation from Francis as to why he has not returned the 2007 Cadillac Escalade or the 2012 Bentley Flying Spur.
In court papers, Francis said that he was “powerless” to return the cars following a Mexican strip club owner took the vehicles from him because of failed Girls Gone Wild promotions.
Francis has decided to appeal the ruling. An attorney for Francis told the Wall Street Journal in an email that the decision of the court falls “outside the scope of proper civil contempt sanctions.”
A hearing has been scheduled for July 31 by Judge Klein to determine if the vehicles have been returned.
“If they have not, the court will consider what additional sanctions, if any, including issuance of arrest warrants for Francis…might be appropriate,” according to Judge Klein’s order, which was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles.
Approval was granted to bankruptcy lawyers to bill Francis for the expensive legal issues caused when he visited the Girls Gone Wild former headquarters in May. Francis was banned from the building in Los Angeles by Judge Klein last year. He reportedly went there to threaten employees.
The court statement said that on May 9, Francis went to the old location to take pictures to make sure none of his stuff was touched as employees moved into new offices.
The office doors were locked and Francis left the building after finding out that the police were called. He returned a second time on May 16, which is when lawyers said he threatened a brand new security guard, called an executive of the new owner a couple of names and yelled at employees.