The US Department of Justice sued former Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn on Tuesday for refusing to register as a foreign agent after lobbying for China.
US justice said it advised Steve Wyn repeatedly over the past four years to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and is now suing the entrepreneur after he refused to do so.
As the Justice Department has stepped up efforts to criminally prosecute people who fail to register as foreign agents, officials have described the case as the first such case in more than three decades.
“When a foreign government uses an American as an agent to influence policy decisions in United StatesFARA gives the American people the right to know,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen, head of the department’s National Security Division, said in a statement.
The lawyers of Steve Wyn assured that they will appeal this procedure.
“Steve Wyn never acted as an agent of the Chinese government and was not required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” attorneys Reid Weingarten and Brian Heberlig said in a statement.
The prosecution alleges that Steve Wynwho left his company, Wynn Resorts, in 2018 after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct, lobbied then-US President Donald Trump and members of his cabinet for several months in 2017. administration to withdraw from the United States. corruption in China and asked for political asylum UNITED STATES.
Efforts to deport the Chinese national from the United States have failed.
US justice says the ‘lobbying’ work was done on behalf of senior Chinese government officials, including Sin Lijun, then deputy minister of the Ministry of Public Security, and included conversations over dinner with Trump and by telephone.
Steve Wyn would also be motivated to protect his business interests in China, the indictment also adds.
At the time, his company owned and operated casinos in the Chinese territory of Macau.
The Macau government limited the number of tables and slot machines that could be operated at Wynn Casino and intended to renegotiate casino operating licenses in 2019, the US court heard.
FARA, enacted in 1938 to expose Nazi propaganda in UNITED STATESrequires individuals to disclose to the Department of Justice when they are advocating, lobbying, or doing public relations work in UNITED STATES on behalf of a foreign government or political entity.
The indictment alleges that Wynn was lured into the lobbying effort by Elliott Broidy, a well-known fundraiser for donald trump and the Republican Party, which pleaded guilty in 2020 to an illicit “lobbying” campaign aimed at getting the Trump administration to drop an investigation into a multimillion-dollar embezzlement by a Malaysian public investment fund.
Elliott Broidy also admitted to making a secret “lobbying” effort to organize the return of a Chinese dissident living in the UNITED STATES.