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Howard Stutz

Wynn Resorts: No federal investigation despite published reports

24 November 2014

LAS VEGAS -- Wynn Resorts, Limited said it doesn’t believe it is under federal investigation despite published reports the casino operator is being targeted for potential money-laundering violations.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Las Vegas attorney Donald Campbell, who represents Wynn as an outside counsel, was sent a letter by the Internal Revenue Service seeking a list of the company’s top 100 customers from North America and the top 50 customers from Asia, Europe and Latin America.

But legal sources said Wynn Resorts would be required to make a public filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission if the company knew it was under investigation.

“We are not aware of any investigation of the company and no agency has notified the company that it is under any investigation,” Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver said in an e-mail Thursday.

According to the Journal, the letter asked for birth dates, Social Security numbers and other information, as well an organizational chart of Wynn Resorts senior management and specifics about internal money-laundering safeguards.

“The fact that information is requested from us by a governmental agency in no way implies the accusation of any wrongdoing by the company,” Weaver said in an email.

Campbell could not be reached for comment.

On Thursday, Wynn filed a notice with the SEC that it was seeking to borrow $1 billion to help with construction of the company’s $1.6 billion hotel-casino development outside Boston.

The gaming industry has come under fire by Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN, which is overseen by the Treasury Department, to comply with anti-money-laundering regulations found in the Bank Secrecy Act.

In June, FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery said the casino industry has the same responsibility as traditional financial institutions to police and report any suspicious customer activity, which includes investigating the source of large gambling funds.

She made her remarks to room full of attorneys and gaming leaders at the Bank Secrecy Act Conference at Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa. Calvery said the casino industry can discover the origins of a high roller’s bankroll in the same way a casino host determines that customer’s favorite wine or music preferences.

In August 2013, Las Vegas Sands Corp. struck a deal with federal prosecutors and paid a $47.4 million settlement to avoid criminal charges in connection with a 2006 and 2007 investigation into money laundering by a customer at The Venetian.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation disclosed through an SEC filing in October 2013 that Caesars Palace was being investigated for possible money-laundering allegations. Nothing has been revealed about the investigation in the past year.
Wynn Resorts: No federal investigation despite published reports is republished from