Art collector Steve Wynn sued by US for registering as foreign agent

The casino’s former CEO, Steve Wynn, well known for his high-profile art purchases, has been sued by the Department of Justice. Wynn is accused of lobbying Donald Trump in 2017 on behalf of the Chinese government to extradite a dissident residing in the United States, according to a lawsuit in which the United States seeks to compel him to register as a foreign agent.

Wynn allegedly lobbied Trump on behalf of Sun Lijun, a former vice minister of China’s Ministry of Public Security, to protect his company’s casino operations in Macau, the Justice Department says in the court complaint. Washington Federal.

The Dream (1932), painting by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).
Wikipedia

The lawsuit references the Foreign Agents Registration Act which requires individuals to register with the United States Attorney General before lobbying on behalf of foreign nationals.

“Steve Wynn has never acted as an agent of the Chinese government and was under no obligation to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” Wynn’s attorneys responded in a statement.

According to the Justice Department, Wynn acted on Sun’s behalf at the request of Elliott Broidy, a former Trump fundraiser who pleaded guilty to unlawful lobbying. Broidy sought Wynn’s help with Trump, according to the lawsuit, to push the United States to extradite Guo Wengui, a wealthy exile who has criticized the Chinese government. The lawsuit says that when Wynn had dinner with Trump in June 2017, he gave the man’s passport photos to Trump’s secretary.

“After dinner, Broidy informed the defendant by text message (through the defendant’s wife) that Sun was ‘extremely satisfied’ and said that President Xi Jinping appreciated [the Defendant’s] assistance’.”

Broidy was pardoned by Trump, Bloomberg notes.

Wynn, which has faced multiple lawsuits and allegations of sexual misconduct over the years, has long been known for its high-level art collection, including pieces owned or featured at Wynn resorts. Among his noteworthy acquisitions are those of Rembrandt Man with his arms Akimbo for $33.2 million; by Vermeer A young woman seated at the virginals for $30 million which he sold to the Leiden Collection; and two Picasso paintings from Donald Marron’s collection bought for $105 million in 2020, Woman with beret and necklace and Jacqueline.

In a famous incident, Wynn accidentally punched a hole in his titled Picasso portrait. The dream just before selling it to Steven A. Cohen for $139 million in 2006. After a $90,000 repair and reduced revaluation to $85 million by his insurance company, which he sued and settled, Wynn then sold The dream to Cohen for a record $155 million in 2013.

Norma D. Ross