(Reuters) – Casino tycoon Steve Wynn cannot be ordered to register with the U.S. Justice Department as a foreign agent for China, a federal judge in Washington, DC, said on Wednesday.
In May, the Justice Department sought an injunction requiring Wynn, the former CEO of Wynn Casinos, to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The officials alleged that Wynn pressured then-US President Donald Trump on behalf of China in 2017. Wynn’s lawyers denied that he was ever an agent of the Chinese government.
US District Judge James Boasberg said Wednesday that because any relationship between Wynn and the Chinese government ended in 2017, the Republican donor cannot be required to register as an agent. The judge pointed to prior precedent in DC federal court in making the decision.
The judge said he was not determining whether Wynn had lobbied on behalf of China. He also said the Justice Department could pursue criminal penalties against Wynn for failing to disclose alleged lobbying if the statute of limitations had not expired.
Wynn’s attorneys and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Jacqueline Thomsen in Washington; Editing by David Bario and Louise Heavens)
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