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Steve Wynn Loses Court Fight With Joe Francis

Billionaire Las Vegas impresario’s claim that the ”Girls Gone Wild“ mastermind owes him gambling money gets thrown out of criminal court

Not since Frank Sinatra was featured in a commercial sending the casino owner off to fetch him some towels has Las Vegas hotelier Steve Wynn suffered such a public embarrassment.

On Wednesday, a federal judge threw out charges filed by the local District Attorney  against Joe Francis claiming the oft-sued "Girls Gone Wild" creator owed Wynn's company money for gambling losses incurred at Wynn's resort back in 2007.

According to TMZ, Wynn's claim was worth $2.5 million, and an earlier civil suit judgment against Francis in the matter is still pending appeal.

District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell tossed the case out of court after finding absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing on Francis’s part. 

“I have maintained my innocence in this matter from the start,” Francis said in a statement, sounding every inch the aggrieved straight arrow.

And apparently, Francis — who calls the courtroom his second home — isn't done with this fight.

“I think it was disgusting that Steve Wynn attempted to manipulate banking records to try to make this a criminal case," he added. "Believe me; I will do everything legally possible to make sure justice is served in this matter and that I am compensated for the damage that these false charges have caused to my reputation.”

Francis was represented by Reno attorney David R. Houston. 

Said Houston, in his own statement: “What the judge’s order tells us is that this case never should have been filed, and in my opinion, the Wynn Group’s heavy-handed approach to collect money from Mr. Francis has failed utterly and completely.”  

Earlier in the day,  Francis and Wynn had been in the same room for a hearing on one of several ongoing civil cases the two are involved in.  Francis told a reporter for the  Las Vegas Review-Journal that those cases are going "a lot better now".  Chief among them is the civil suit over the same casino marker in September 2009, District Judge Michelle Leavitt ruled in favor of the casino and ordered Francis to pay $2 million plus interest.

 Francis appealed the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court, which has not yet ruled.

The reversal for Wynn goes to show that in America, you can not only make a sizeable chunk of money hoodwinking drunken college girls into showing their breasts, you can also defend it against huffy casino moguls who made their millions hoodwinking gaming addicts into blowing their paychecks.