DOJ Sues Casino Mogul Steve Wynn to Compel FARA Registration

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed a civil enforcement action on May 17 seeking to compel Steve Wynn, a casino magnate and associate of former President Trump, to register as an agent of China under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”).

The suit is the first civil action initiated by the DOJ since 1991. It alleges that Wynn worked with Chinese officials from June to August 2017, engaging in political activities in the U.S. on China’s behalf. Specifically, Wynn is alleged to have relayed China’s request to remove from the U.S. a Chinese national who had sought political asylum in the U.S. to President Trump and other senior White House officials.

The complaint alleges that Wynn’s acted out of a desire to benefit his business interests in Macau, an administrative region in China. According to the DOJ, Wynn was previously advised on three occasions to register as an agent under FARA but declined to do so.

A civil action under FARA only requires “sufficient credible evidence of a significant violation” as opposed to the higher standard of “willfulness” for a criminal violation.

An Informational Resource in a New Era of Foreign Agents Registration Act Enforcement.

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