Steve Wynn, a casino magnate and associate of former President Trump, won dismissal of the government’s civil suit against him seeking to compel him to retroactively register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”).
The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) had filed suit in May seeking to compel Wynn to register as an agent of China under FARA. The suit was the first affirmative civil action initiated by the DOJ since 1991. It alleged that Wynn worked with Chinese officials from June to August 2017, engaging in political activities in the U.S. on China’s behalf. The complaint alleged 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.
Without considering whether Wynn was an “agent” of China, the D.C. District Court dismissed the case on October 12. The Court reasoned, based on precedent interpreting the statutory language, that Wynn’s obligation to file a registration has passed and the DOJ could not compel him to register as Wynn’s alleged agency relationship with China had since ended. The Court noted that DOJ could still attempt to impose criminal sanctions as long as Wynn remained within the statute of limitations.
The ruling that the government has no power to require retroactive registration after the purported foreign agent relationship has ended could deal a blow to the Department’s efforts to enforce FARA through civil enforcement action.
For more information regarding FARA, please contact us using our online form.
An Informational Resource in a New Era of Foreign Agents Registration Act Enforcement.
Recent Blog Posts
- Trump Ally Acquitted of Violating FARA
- Federal Court Grants Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Dismissal of DOJ FARA Suit
- DOJ Sues Casino Mogul Steve Wynn to Compel FARA Registration
- Former US Ambassador to Plead Guilty to Violating Post-Employment Ethics Law in Qatar Representation
- Chinese National Charged with Acting as an Illegal Agent of the Chinese Government in the United States
- House Judiciary Committee Holds First FARA Hearing In 30 Years
- Dual Russia-U.S. Citizen Charged With FARA Violations, Remains At-Large
- DOJ Unseals Indictment Charging U.S. Resident With Acting As An Agent Of Egypt Government
- DOJ Solicits Public Input on Potential Changes to FARA
- Task Force on FARA Releases Report
- November 2022
- October 2022
- May 2022
- April 2022
- March 2022
- January 2022
- December 2021
- October 2021
- July 2021
- March 2021
- February 2021
- December 2020
- November 2020
- September 2020
- June 2020
- May 2020
- February 2020
- October 2019
- September 2019
- August 2019
- July 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019