Steve Wynn Accused by DOJ of Working as Unregistered Chinese Agent

Posted on: May 18, 2022, 05:19h. 

Last updated on: May 18, 2022, 12:59h.

The US Department of Justice is asking a DC federal court to order casino mogul Steve Wynn to register as a foreign agent.

Steve Wynn
Steve Wynn having animated conversation with then-President Trump in Nevada, 2019. (Image: Reuters)

The DOJ accuses Wynn of working as an agent for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). It also said he was attempting to improperly influence the Trump administration to deport a Chinese dissident to his home country.

That dissident is businessman Guo Wengui, who sought political asylum in the United States after arriving from the People’s Republic of China in 2014.

Guo has accused senior Chinese politicians of having corrupt ties to business leaders in the PRC.

Chinese authorities have, in turn, charged Guo with numerous offences in his absence, including bribery and sexual assault, which Guo claims were cooked up in retaliation.

Americans ‘Right to Know’

Wynn is accused of asking his friend, then-president Trump, to “cancel the visa or otherwise remove [Guo] from the United States.”

“Wynn conveyed the request directly to the then-president over dinner and by phone, and he had multiple discussions with the then-president and senior officials at the White House and National Security Council about organizing a meeting with Sun and other PRC government officials,” reads the DOJ lawsuit.

Where a foreign government uses an American as its agent to influence policy decisions in the United States, the Foreign Agent Registration Act (Fara) gives the American people a right to know,” it continues.

At the time, Wynn was finance chair of the Republican National Committee. The DOJ claims he was drawn into the plot against Guo by then-RNC deputy finance chairman Elliot Broidy and Sun Lijun, then-vice minister of the PRC’s Ministry of Public Security.

Broidy Guilty, Pardoned

Broidy pleaded guilty in 2020 to acting as an unregistered foreign agent working for Chinese and Malaysian interests. In addition to attempting to get Guo deported, he also pushed for the Trump administration to drop charges against 1MDB fugitive Jho Low at Sun’s behest.

He was later pardoned by an outgoing President Trump.

Wynn was persuaded to get involved because he believed it would protect his casino interests in Macau at a time when a trade war was brewing between China and the US.  

Wynn’s lawyers denied the charges Monday.

“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,” said a statement from his attorneys, Reid Weingarten and Brian Heberlig.

A year later, Wynn withdrew himself from the gaming industry amid allegations of sexual misconduct towards female employees.