US sues casino tycoon to compel him to register as Chinese agent

Washington, May 17 (EFE).- The United States Department of Justice sued casino tycoon and Republican fundraiser Steve Wynn on Tuesday to compel him to register as a Chinese agent.

The complaint alleges that Wynn in 2017 lobbied then-president Donald Trump and other members of his administration “to convey [China’s] request to cancel the visa or otherwise remove from the United States a Chinese businessperson who left China in 2014, was later charged with corruption by the PRC and sought political asylum in the United States.”

It adds that “Wynn engaged in these efforts at the request of Sun Lijun, then-Vice Minister of the (Chinese Ministry of Public Security). 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.”

At the dinner, Wynn conveyed to Trump China’s desire to have the businessman removed from the US and gave Trump’s secretary the businessman’s passport photos, prosecutors detail in the lawsuit.

At Wynn’s insistence, Trump allegedly later promised to “look into the matter,” according to the suit.

The DoJ alleges that Wynn was acting on behalf of the Chinese government and Sun, with whom he spoke on several occasions over the phone.

The complaint also alleges Wynn’s “conduct was motivated by his desire to protect his business interests in the PRC.” Wynn’s company owned and operated casinos in Macau, a Chinese special administrative region.

The name of the businessman at the center of the controversy does not appear in the court documents, but some US media outlets report that it is the tycoon Guo Wengui, known for his opposition to the Chinese government and who has been accused by the authorities of a range of criminal offenses.

Efforts to try to return him to China were unsuccessful and he is allegedly still in the US, according to the lawsuit.

Wynn, 80, stepped down as finance chair of the Republican National Committee in 2018 and then resigned as chairman and CEO of his empire Wynn Resorts as a result of allegations of sexual misconduct by some of its employees.

According to Tuesday’s lawsuit, the US asked Wynn to register as a Chinese agent three times: in 2018, in 2021 and in April this year.

On all occasions Wynn refused, resulting in the lawsuit against him to force him to register as a foreign agent. EFE


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