The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is suing Stephen Wynn, former CEO of Wynn Resorts, after he allegedly acted as an agent for China without registration. The civil enforcement action was filed this week in the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
Wynn is being compelled by the DoJ to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) as an agent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and as a senior official of the PRC’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS). He has so far declined the request.
The suit states that Wynn spoke to then-President Donald Trump and members of his administration from June 2017 to August 2017 about a Chinese businessperson who had left China in 2014 after being charged with corruption and was seeking political asylum in the US.
According to the complaint, Wynn voiced the PRC’s request to either cancel the visa or remove the businessperson from the US at the request of Sun Lijun, the then-Vice Minister of the MPS, directly to Trump over dinner and by phone.
The suit adds that Wynn also had several conversations with Trump and senior officials at the White House and National Security Council about arranging a meeting with Sun and other PRC government officials.
During this time, Wynn’s company-owned and operated casinos in Macau, to which the DoJ alleges Wynn acted at the PRC’s request to protect his business interests in the region.
Matthew G Olsen, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, commented: “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.”