Steve Wynn is a casino billionaire. His father was a bingo parlor operator on the east coast.
At age 15, Steve sold ice cream bars from his bicycle. When his father died, Steve took the bingo operation to Las Vegas.
Steve built some of Las Vegas’s most famous casinos including Treasure Island, The Mirage, and Bellagio.
Recently, the U.S. Justice Department sued Steve for allegedly working as an agent for China. The lawsuit was filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
But there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye. This is more about politics than Steve’s business dealings.
You see, by going after Steve civilly, the Justice Department has set a precedent.
In other words, they are suing him civilly and not bringing criminal charges. The same could be done in the case of Hunter Biden.
Hunter can now argue that charging him criminally would be inconsistent. Hence, the case against Steve Wynn.
If the Justice Department charges Hunter, they could do so as a civil case instead of charging the President’s son with a felony.
Now, back to the case against Mr. Wynn. The government sued Steve claiming he tried to intervene in the case of a Chinese businessman.
The Chinese man is a real estate billionaire and critic of the Chinese government.
The Chinese want the businessman back in Beijing, so they are trying to convince the U.S. government to deny his visa.
Steve allegedly spoke to government officials about the case, including former President Trump. He also has business interests in China.
The Justice Department asked Steve to register as an agent of China. But he refused.
As I mentioned, the strange thing about Steve’s case is that he was charged civilly. See, in the past, the Justice Department has charged people criminally for similar crimes.
The current presidential administration has suddenly decided that cases such as Steve’s should be treated civilly.
As I mentioned, this is coming at a very convenient time.
Hunter Biden worked on many different business ventures, including dealings with Chinese officials, as well as those in Russia and Ukraine.
Like Steve, Hunter never registered as a foreign agent. He’s claimed his work for foreign interests didn’t meet the required guidelines to register.
Matthew Olsen, an assistant attorney general of the Justice Department, said Steve’s case was “the first affirmative civil lawsuit under FARA in more than three decades.”
After three decades they decided to make the crimes a civil issue?
The fact is, a lot of Americans work for or with companies based in foreign countries.
In some countries (such as China), certain companies are controlled or tied to the government.
This new legal attack could potentially open a can of worms for anyone who works for one of these companies and is not registered as a foreign agent.
So, what does it really mean to be an agent on behalf of a foreign country?
Let’s take a look…
What is FARA?
The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) is a federal law passed in 1938. The law was created to stop the spread of Nazi and Communist propaganda.
The law requires that individuals and businesses register with the Department of Justice if they do any work in the U.S. on behalf of a foreign principal.
A foreign principal is any foreign government, business, or person. But it also includes political parties and organizations in other countries.
A foreign principal could be anyone that is not organized under the laws of the U.S. Or a company that does not have their main place of business within the U.S.
For example, a company could be operating in the U.S., but its parent company could be based in another country.
So, the U.S. company would be acting as a foreign agent on behalf of the main company.
What is an agent?
An agent of a foreign principal is any person that acts in any capacity at the request or under the direction of the principal.
This includes if the activities of the person are financed, supervised, or controlled by a foreign entity.
The problem is that the definition is very broad.
What I mean is, a person could be acting on behalf of a foreign principal without even knowing it.
For instance, there could be an intermediary who is communicating between the two parties. The person would have no idea that they are acting as a foreign agent.
Actions that could lead to violations:
A few activities that could lead to breaking the law include political action in the interest of the foreign principal.
This could also include working as a consultant in the U.S. for the interests of the foreign principal.
Another common activity is collecting or selling items in the U.S. on behalf of the foreign principal.
The reality is that a lot of people likely meet the definition of working on behalf of a foreign principal. Most of them don’t register as agents.
Think about how many times you or your employer may have done work or consulted for a foreign company. This type of thing happens all the time.
Your employer may have registered as a foreign agent to cover those who do work on behalf of another country.
But this may not protect you, your loved ones, or anyone else from being sued in civil court.