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Joe Francis Is A Free Man

Nov. 6 2009, Published 4:15 a.m. ET

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Joe Francis avoided jail but was given one year probabtion and ordered to pay $249,000 to the IRS after a judge ruled on his tax evasion and bribery charges.

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The Girls Gone Wild founder has already served 301 days behind bars after pleading guilty to two counts of filing false tax returns and one count of bribing Nevada jail workers in exchange for food.

But now Francis, 36 won't have to go back to prison.

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The long awaited sentencing came in the US District Court in Los Angeles where Francis appeared on time looking smart and groomed in a black suit and tie.

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And Francis even brought his mom along for support "This is my mom. My mom is here," he told his lawyer as she took a seat in the courtroom.

Before the verdict was read Judge S. James Otero asked Francis if he had anything he wanted to say.

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"I just want to say thank you to the court for their time," he said.

"And your time and patience too Judge. I know it hasn't been easy and I really appreciate it."

He was then ordered to pay the nearly quarter of a million dollars in fines - which he has already paid - and told he would be under supervised release until November 8th 2010.

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But, "No additional incarceration is necessary," said Otero.

Francis was also told to pay $10,000 to the US government and to stay out of trouble.

Fortunately no travel restrictions were put on him except for the fact he will have to inform his probation officer if he leaves the country.

Outside court he told reporters he was happy with the outcome. "It's over," he said as he was flanked by his lawyers Brad Brian and David Houston. "Im a free man. I'm not going to jail."



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