Featured in this article:
  • Steve Wynn is accused of lobbying Trump administration on China’s behalf
  • The U.S. Justice Department is suing Wynn to register as foreign agent
  • Wynn denies acting as agent for Chinese government

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Steve Wynn at a news conference in Medford, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Casino mogul Steve Wynn has been accused of acting as a foreign agent for China due to lobbying work Wynn did in 2017 for the Trump administration, the US Justice Department alleges in its lawsuit.

Despite these enforcements being rarely given, the lawsuit is part of a larger crackdown by the Justice Department to prosecute individuals acting as foreign agents.

“The filing of this suit — the first affirmative civil lawsuit under FARA in more than three decades — demonstrates a 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,” says Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

A statement from the Justice Department details the lawsuit against Wynn, and seeks to compel the mogul to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as an agent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Casino mogul Steve Wynn

Casino mogul Steve Wynn during a news conference in Medford, Mass., Tuesday, March 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

They allege that from June 2017 until at least August 2017, then MPS Vice-minister Sun Lijun asked Wynn to lobby Donald Trump’s administration in an effort to deport or cancel a Chinese businessperson’s visa. This included a request by phone, during a dinner, and other requests to senior officials at the White House and National Security Council for a meeting between PRC officials and Sun. This businessperson left China in 2014 and sought asylum in the United States after being charged by the PRC with corruption.

At this time, Wynn owned casinos in the Macau region, one of the only areas of China where gambling is legal. It’s believed he was persuaded by business interests to request the businessperson’s release.

Wynn’s lawyers deny the charges and plan to contest the suit.

“Steve Wynn has never acted as an agent of the Chinese government and had no obligation to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act…We respectfully disagree with the Department of Justice’s legal interpretation of FARA and look forward to proving our case in court.”

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for GambleOnline.co about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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