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    Girls Gone Wild, Man Cops Plea

    So this is what happens if you don't keep your boobs, er, books in order.

    Girls Gone Wild overlord Joe Francis, on behalf of his companies, has pleaded guilty to two felony charges of failing to document and maintain records of the age and identity of young women, several of whom were minors, who showed off their assets in his raunchy candid camera video series.

    Francis entered his plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, fulfilling a bargain he struck two weeks ago with federal prosecutors in Florida. The 33-year-old kingpin copped to distributing such DVD titles as Girls Gone Wild: Totally Exposed Uncensored and Beyond and Wild College Girls Exposed/Sexy Uncensored Sweetheart that contained sexually explicit footage featuring underage girls.

    Per the deal, Francis will personally pay $500,000 in fines, while his Santa Monica-based Mantra Films and a related company, MRA Holdings, must pay $1.6 million in penalties and submit to outside audits of its bookkeeping. In exchange, Francis will not serve any time.

    "We are thrilled to have this stuff behind us," the soft-porn purveyor told reporters after the session.

    For its part, the Justice Department agreed to dismiss all charges against MRA if the company stayed out of trouble for three years. The company must hire outside monitors to ensure its business practices comply with federal law, which requires pornographers to keep detailed records of all "performers" who appear in their films as a way to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors.

    Francis' attorney, Aaron S. Dyer, did not return phone calls seeking comment Tuesday. But he has previously claimed that any minors featured in the GGW videos had lied about their age.

    The agreement now hinges on the court's approval.

    During his 30-minute appearance, Francis offered terse answers to questions posed by U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow. One that seemed to catch him off guard was when Morrow asked if he was aware that by entering a guilty plea, he could receive up to 10 years in prison.

    "Um, I don't understand that," Francis said, per reports.

    Dyer explained to his client that the judge was simply referring to the maximum sentence the felonies call for.

    Francis is expected to get the recommended penalty at a sentencing hearing set for Dec. 18.

    But he's not off the hook completely. Francis faces 43 counts, including racketeering, prostitution and encouraging minors to indulge in X-rated behaviors, in a separate case stemming from a video shoot in Panama City, Florida, in 2003. A trial date has yet to be scheduled in that case.

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