Wynn Says U.S. Hasn’t Sought Macau Gift InformationChristopher Palmeri and Edvard Pettersson
Wynn Resorts Ltd., the casino company founded by Steve Wynn, said it has yet to receive a demand for information for a U.S. criminal investigation into the company’s donation to the University of Macau seven months after prosecutors disclosed the probe.
The Justice Department mentioned its investigation into the $135 million gift to the University of Macau Development Foundation in a footnote in an April 8 court filing in a civil case between Wynn Resorts and its former director, Kazuo Okada.
Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts said in a filing yesterday that it hasn’t received any target letter or subpoena related to the investigation and intends to cooperate fully with any government request.
Wynn Resorts forcibly redeemed Okada’s 20 percent stake in the company last year based on a report that it commissioned by former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Louis Freeh. He alleged that Okada had made improper payments to Philippine gaming regulators. Okada has denied the allegations and questioned Wynn Resorts’ donation to the University of Macau in 2011.
In July, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s regional office in Salt Lake City notified Wynn that it ended an investigation into the donation without recommending enforcement action.
Peter Carr, a Justice Department spokesman, declined to comment on the company’s disclosure of a criminal probe.
“The mention of the Department of Justice investigation in our 10-Q released today is identical to the disclosure the company made in May and August of this year and is consistent with standard reporting practices,” Michael Weaver, a Wynn Resorts spokesman, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
The footnote that disclosed the probe in April was in a filing by the government seeking permission to intervene in the Wynn Resorts lawsuit against Okada. The U.S. at the time was seeking to halt the collection of evidence in the case as it pursued a criminal investigation of Okada’s payments to Philippine gaming regulators.
The Nevada judge overseeing that case last month put proceedings on hold for another six month at the request of the Justice Department, citing concerns for witness safety.