The Federal Reserve is suing Steve Wynn for lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of the Chinese government, claiming to protect his business interests in Macau, like Wynn Macau (pictured). [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Not registering as a foreign agent
The US Department of Justice has sued former gaming leader Steve Wynn for his failure to register as a foreign agent, alleging that he lobbied former President Donald Trump on behalf of the Chinese government when he was chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts.
Wynn has repeatedly advised to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act
The Department of Justice filed a civil enforcement action against Wayne in US District Court of Columbia on Tuesday. It alleges that the federal agency has repeatedly advised Wayne to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) on behalf of China for the past four years, only to have the Las Vegas hotel denied.
The action alleges that Wen contacted Trump and members of his administration between June 2017 and August 2017 at the request of the Chinese government, which was seeking the return of a Chinese national to its borders.
The Ministry of Justice said in a statement that Wen “acted at the request of the People’s Republic of China out of his desire to protect his business interests in Macao.”
Protecting Asian interests
Wynn Resorts owns and operates three casinos in Macau, a Special Administrative Region of China. according to Huffington Post, at the time of contacting the Trump administration, the Macau government had set a limit on the number of gaming tables and Wynn slots headquartered in Las Vegas that could operate in Macau. Wen was also scheduled to renegotiate the Macau operator’s license in 2019.
However, in 2017, the Federal Reserve is interested in him. At this time, according to the complaint, Wen asked the Trump administration to extradite a Chinese businessman from the United States who left China in 2014. The Chinese government later accused the man of corruption, after which he sought political asylum in the United States.
The Justice Ministry statement added that Wen entered into these negotiations “at the request of Sun Lijun,” who was then the deputy minister of China’s Ministry of Public Security. Wayne relayed the order directly to Trump over dinner and over the phone. Wen also participated in “multiple discussions with the then President and senior officials in the White House and the National Security Council about organizing a meeting with Sun and other government officials in the People’s Republic of China.”
In a statement Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Matthew J. Olsen explained why it is nationally important to register Wayne as a foreign agent. “When a foreign government uses an American as its proxy to influence policy decisions in the United States [FARA] It gives the American people the right to know.”
What next for Wynn?
The lawsuit against Wynn is the first confirmed civil lawsuit under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in more than 30 years.
However, at this point it is not immediately clear what penalties, if any, await the 80-year-old. The Department of Justice wants the Federal Court to order Wynn to send a “valid and complete statement of registration” and “other assistance and further relief as the court deems fair and proper.”
He no longer gives statements or gives interviews.”
to me HP, A spokesperson for the former gaming mogul, who now lives in Florida, said Wayne “exercises his rights as a private citizen and no longer makes statements or gives interviews.”
News agency Eric Tucker, the National Security Correspondent for the Department of Justice and the FBI, took to Twitter to share the response of Wayne’s lawyers, who refute the federal charges and say they will contest the lawsuit: