Joe Francis ordered released from custody

Tue Feb 3, 2009 7:59pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis was ordered released from federal custody on Tuesday and put on home detention, a day after he was arrested for failing to attend a court hearing in a tax evasion case.

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero ordered Francis released under the condition that his doctor provide evidence that he was too sick to appear in court on time Monday.

But Otero restricted Francis to home detention and electronic monitoring for the next week.

Francis became a multimillionaire by selling the "Girls Gone Wild" videos of young women baring their breasts at parties with free-flowing alcohol. If convicted of tax evasion, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

<p>"Girls Gone Wild" video series producer Joe Francis arrives at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles July 21, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>