As despicable as Joe Francis' business is, you've got to give him credit for chutzpah. Outlandish efforts also seem to be what the Girls Gone Wild (GGW) founder looks for in his tax attorneys.
Francis is awaiting trial on federal tax-evasion charges that he hid business income in offshore companies and deducted millions in phony business expenses.
When Francis' trial starts this fall, his attorneys will try to convince jurors that all those write-offs were OK because Joe is the business. And since Joe is GGW, everything he does is business related and therefore legally deductible.
Or, as Joe Kristan of Tax Updates blog puts it, his attorneys apparently think Francis should get deductions for just being Joe. Personally, I think that's a mighty big stretch. The company is Girls, not Joe, Gone Wild.
To try to make their case, Francis' defense team has created a series of slides, or "opening statement demonstratives." The pictorial, filed with the U.S. District Court and posted by The Smoking Gun, includes displays like the one below showing Francis as the center of the GWW brand.
Other slides posted at The Smoking Gun include one that points out that Francis is in Business of Sex (duh!), one that offers a GGW Marketing 101 overview and a one displaying the Playboy brand, which Francis apparently believes GGW emulates.
Again, good for getting creative and good luck with the off-the-wall out-of-the-box defense approach.
But I must again refer back to the tax-blogging Joe's analysis of the GGW Joe's situation: "From a tax return perspective, it's an absurd argument, but Mr. Francis will be trying to convince a jury, not a panel of tax pros."