Steve Wynn is as synonymous with Las Vegas as $9.99 lobster buffets, circ du solei shows, and blowing the kid’s college fund on the nickel slots. He has built or been involved with some of the largest real estate and casino deals the city has ever seen. His expertise in the casino industry is second to none, and he knows it. This has ultimately given him a sense of being untouchable. As news of some of his actions in 2017 surfaces, it appears as though this might be a false idea.
In 2017 Wynn contacted President Trump, as well as other members of his administration to seek his assistance with getting asylum for a Chinese businessman in the US. Now the Department Of Justice (DOJ) is attempting to compel him to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara) as an agent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and a senior official of the PRC’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
Assistant attorney general Matthew Olsen of the justice department’s national security division spoke candidly about this suit. “The filing of this suit – the first affirmative civil lawsuit under Fara in more than three decades – demonstrates the department’s commitment to ensuring transparency in our democratic system… Where a foreign government uses an American as its agent to influence policy decisions in the United States, Fara gives the American people a right to know.”
The suit alleges that in June and August of 2017 Wynn made contact with Trump and various members of his administration. During these contacts he “attempted to convey the PRC’s request to cancel the visa or otherwise remove from the United States a Chinese businessperson who left China in 2014, was later charged with corruption by the PRC and sought political asylum in the United States.” Additionally, they allege that this was done at the request of Sun Lijun, then-vice minister of the MPS.
The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that it was Chinese businessman Guo Wengui who Wynn was advocating for. Guo has faced charges numerous charges of bribery, sexual assault, and others; all charges he denies. He instead contends that these charges are being drummed up by the PRC as he is the subject of a witch hunt due to his allegations of senior PRC leaders having corrupt ties with China’s leading businessmen.
Wynn already has a dirty name from sexual assault and regular assault allegations in 2018. These allegations forced him to resign as a finance chair of the Republican National Committee, as well as from his own casino and hotel company Wynn Resorts. Given Wynn’s business relations in Macau, it is alleged that he was advocating for meetings for the PRC, which Wynn and his lawyer fully deny.
In 2020 Elliott Broidy a venture capitalist and former deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Congress found himself pleading guilty to multiple charges. He was acting as a foreign agent, by accepting money from the Trump administration for Malaysian and Chinese interests, and he also worked with Chinese officials in attempts to return Guo to his home country. Inside the complaint, it is alleged that Wynn was brought into the lobbying by Broidy. What makes that allegation even more interesting is the pardon Trump issued for Broidy. Given all the connections here, it would seem like the feds believe they have Wynn all but convicted, but as he has proven over the years, the man knows how to dodge charges, and shift the blame. With all the money Chinese tourists poured into his resorts over the years, it’s not very surprising to see these kinds of allegations.