The United States Department of Justice has allegedly threatened to take Wynn Resorts founder Steve Wynn to court over claims he lobbied the Donald Trump administration to provide a diplomatic favor for China.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Wynn – who stepped down as Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts in early 2018 over sexual misconduct allegations and later sold his entire stake in the company – asked the Trump government in 2017 to extradite businessman Guo Wengui back to China. Guo, identified as a fugitive by China, fled to the US in 2014 after being accused of bribery and sexual assault.
The WSJ report claims the Department of Justice has called on Wynn to register as a foreign lobbyist under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) having allegedly gathered substantial evidence against him. It is also willing to go to court to compel Wynn to do so.
It is alleged that Wynn hand-delivered a letter from the Chinese government regarding Guo directly to then-President Trump in 2017. Guo is also said to have been a member of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort at the time.
Wynn’s lawyer Reid Weingarten issued a statement on Wednesday disputing the claims.
“Steve Wynn never served as an agent or lobbyist for China or anyone else,” he said. ““He was merely a loyal messenger of information he received to our government.”
Wynn Resorts operates two integrated resorts, Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace, in the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Macau under its majority-owned subsidiary, Wynn Macau Ltd.