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‘Girls Gone Wild’ Trustee Asks Judge to Restrain Founder

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- The trustee running the company behind the “Girls Gone Wild” videos asked a federal judge to ban the founder of the soft-core porn series from the company’s offices, saying he’s a violent man who threatened workers.

Joe Francis, who started the video series, threatened employees of GGW Brands LLC with “violent acts,” according to court papers filed by bankruptcy trustee R. Todd Neilson. GGW filed bankruptcy in February after being sued by Steve Wynn’s Wynn Las Vegas LLC and others trying to collect debts allegedly owed by Francis.

Francis claims he doesn’t own or control GGW, although he has an office in the company’s Los Angeles’ headquarters, Neilson said in court papers. Francis founded GGW and is trying to maintain control despite a court order appointing a trustee, Neilson said in a complaint filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles.

Days after a federal judge installed Neilson, Francis “made violent threats to the debtors’ employees and attempted to fire them based on his belief that they were not being sufficiently obsequious to him and were not obeying his commands,” according to the filing.

GGW Brands listed debt of $16.3 million and assets of less than $50,000 when it filed its bankruptcy petition. Most of the debt is related to multimillion dollar from court judgments against Francis.

Francis didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the trustee’s allegations.

The case is In re GGW Brands, LLC 13-15130, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles)

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Church in Wilmington, Delaware at schurch3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net

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