Steve Wynn RICO Case Set To Kick Off In Pasadena

Written By Aleeyah Jadavji on November 30, 2022 - Last Updated on December 21, 2022
Steve Wynn faces RICO charges

A civil racketeering case involving casino mogul Steve Wynn will be heard by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California starting next week. This ties in with his decision against registering as a federal agent via the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

A former employee, Angelica Limcaco, alleges she was bullied into silence after reporting Wynn allegedly raped a salon worker in 2005. Not long after this accusation, both Limcaco and her subordinate were let go. Limcaco alleged she was further “blacklisted” from being hired in Las Vegas.

A civil lawsuit was filed in Nevada. This case ties in with oral arguments that will begin on Tuesday, Dec. 6, in Pasadena.

Initial Nevada case dismissed

The case filed in Nevada was dismissed in April 2019 by Judge Miranda Du. She stated the statute of limitations had long since passed. This led to the filing of the California case, where Limcaco’s attorneys alleged that donations made by Wynn Resorts to nonprofit legal organizations were made to influence Du’s decision.

Notably, the RICO complaint alleged that Wynn Las Vegas’ lead lawyer, Elayna Youchah, who was attempting to dismiss the case, was selected to replace the retiring magistrate judge in Limcaco’s case on or around April 2, 2019. The case was then dismissed on April 18, 2019. The cases filed by Limcaco clearly outlined the accusations of “improper influence over public officials in the manner in which they do business.”

Limcaco decided she would not back down and continue to pursue legal action. Jordan Matthews of Weinberg Gonser Frost LLP is the lead counsel in the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act) case. Matthews filed in Central District, California “on behalf of Angelica Limcaco and against Steve Wynn over alleged attempts to use improper payments and influence to elevate Wynn Las Vegas’ counsel to the position of a judge in Nevada District Court and to dismiss Limcao’s case.”

Wynn recently dodged FARA violations

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Wynn to require he register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This came after he advised former President Donald Trump on a People’s Republic of China national.

Wynn passed along a message that China suggested the U.S. extradite Guo Wengui. The billionaire was exiled for corruption before fleeing in 2014.

Wynn claimed he was not working on behalf of the PRC. He stated that he was acting on “his desire to protect his business interests” in Macau.

A federal judge dismissed the case in October, despite agreeing that Wynn should have registered as a foreign national. Due to DC Circuit precedent, any requirement to register ended on October 17, 2022. That was the date that the DOJ alleges Wynn’s ties with the Chinese government were severed. 

Wynn dodged a bullet with the dismissal of the FARA case. Had he been indicted, Wynn would have been facing a maximum of five years in prison. Possible punishments also included a fine of up to $250,000.

Photo by AP Photo / Charles Krupa
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Aleeyah Jadavji

Aleeyah hails from Toronto, Ontario in Canada and has been working predominantly in the poker industry since 2015. From writing articles, to interviewing big winners and live reporting on poker's biggest stages, she's seen it all. Aleeyah loves to cook and create content to showcase her passion for food and travel. She also loves sriracha, and doesn't trust anyone that believes it's not a top tier condiment.

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