Disgraced former casino mogul Steve Wynn has asked a federal court to dismiss the lawsuit that brands him as a “foreign agent” who lobbied then-President Donald Trump on behalf of the Chinese government...
The 80-year-old former CEO of Wynn Resorts – ousted from the company in 2018 amid multiple accusations of sexual misconduct – is facing a civil lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice (DoJ).
The DoJ claims that Wynn lobbied then-President Donald Trump to have wealthy Chinese businessman Guo Wengui, also known as Ho Wan ‘Miles’ Kwok, returned to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to face corruption charges.
With no extradition treaty in place between the USA and China, Wynn was said to have been doing the bidding of Sun Lijun, Vice-minister of China’s Ministry of Public Security. Wynn’s actions are said to have stemmed from a desire to protect his business interests in Macau.
The lawsuit has been brought to force Wynn “to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as an agent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)...”
Wynn refused to voluntarily register despite being asked by the DoJ three times, hence the first such civil lawsuit in more than three decades.
Wynn’s Three-Pronged Attack on Lawsuit
Now Wynn is looking to have the suit tossed out of court, claiming that forcing him to register as a foreign agent is a violation of his constitutional rights.
The latest filing in the case also claims that even if the allegations about lobbying Trump on behalf of China are true, the “foreign agent” clause should expire at the same time as the alleged lobbying ended, back in 2017.
A third reason given by Wynn’s legal team is that the lawsuit “does not meet the legal standards for triggering the law’s registration requirement.”
Wynn’s legal team has recently been boosted by the addition of famous trial lawyer Robert Luskin, who represented Lance Armstrong when he was accused of performance-enhancing drug use and blood doping.
Forced to Stand Down After Sexual Misconduct Claims
Wynn was banned from his own properties after being forced to stand down as CEO after a “decades-long pattern of alleged sexual misconduct” was revealed by the Wall Street Journal.
One of those allegations stated “that Mr. Wynn in 2005 paid a $7.5 million settlement to a manicurist who told people at the time that Mr. Wynn forced her to have sex with him”.
His ousting came on the back of the #MeToo campaign and the claims, which Wynn has denied, led to a massive hit in the share price of Wynn’s Casino empire.
Reuters wrote at the time: “Shares in Wynn Resorts, worth around $17 billion, have tumbled nearly 20 percent”, since the WSJ report last month, while “shares in Wynn Macau Ltd slumped around 17 percent before they were put on a trading halt on Wednesday.”