The Steve Wynn RICO case will go to trial on December 6th

Published on: October 5, 2022, 03:40 am.

Last updated: 5 October 2022, 03:40.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a RICO lawsuit charging Steve Wynn, Wynn Resorts and others with bribery and attempting to corrupt the judicial process through improper influence.

Steve Wynn
Steve Wynn, pictured before his fall from grace in 2018. His former employee, Angela Limcaco, accuses him and the Wynn resorts of racketeering. (Image: LVRJ)

Oral arguments are scheduled for Dec. 6 in Long Beach, Calif., according to Jordan Matthews, the lead attorney in the case against Wynn. That’s after the court denied Wynn’s motion to dismiss in April.

The suit was brought by former Wynn Las Vegas lounge manager Angelica Limcaco. She claims she reported Wynn’s alleged sexual misconduct in 2005.

She then told casino management that Wynn had sexually assaulted her and impregnated one of her employees at the lounge. She claims she was subsequently bullied into silence, then turned on by her superiors at Wynn Resorts.

Limcaco initially sued her former employer in 2018, alleging sexual harassment, retaliation and unfair dismissal. This shortly after the publication of a Wall Street Journal article alleging a “decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct” by Wynn toward his female employees. Much of the article was based on Limcaco’s allegations, which Wynn denies.

“Improper Payments”

This case was dismissed in April 2020 because the plaintiff did not file her claim within the statute of limitations. But it was the manner of the dismissal that prompted Limcaco to file the RICO suit later that year.

Controversially, Wynn’s lead attorney in the case, Elayna Youchah, was appointed a US District Court judge in Nevada shortly after she filed a motion to dismiss Limcaco’s complaint.

Youchah then recused himself from the case because of the appointment. That made her a colleague of the presiding judge, Miranda M. Du. The case was dismissed shortly before Youchah began his new role.

Limcaco’s legal team discovered that Wynn Resorts made donations to the Legal Assistance Center of Southern Nevada (LACSN) around the same time the case was dismissed and Youchach was named.

These were “improper payments” intended to “promote Wynn Las Vegas’s attorney as a Nevada district court judge and dismiss Limcaco’s case,” the lawsuit alleges.

At the time, Wynn Resorts was trying to save its Massachusetts gaming license. The license has been threatened by a state gaming commission investigation into allegations surrounding Wynn. It was in the casino operator’s best interest to make Limcaco’s allegations go away, the suit claims.

Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts have a history of exerting “improper influence” on public officials, the plaintiff claims. Her lawsuit cites efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice to get Wynn to declare himself a foreign agent.

Chinese agent claim

In 2017, Wynn tried to force the Trump administration to deport a Chinese dissident who had sought political asylum in the US. He did so while acting as an agent for the People’s Republic of China (PRC), according to a DOJ lawsuit, something Wynn denies.

The DOJ alleges that Wynn agreed to act for China because it believed that doing so would protect Wynn Resorts’ business interests in Macau.

“We are satisfied with [DOJ’s] recent action against Steve Wynn, which corroborates our claims and similarly alleges that Wynn “was motivated by his desire to protect his business interests in the PRC,” Matthews said in an emailed statement to Casino.org.

The RICO case was dismissed as “highly speculative” by the district court in 2021. But the appellate panel wrote that “the arguments raised in the opening brief are substantial enough to warrant further review.”

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