Steve Wynn Created LLC To Hide $7.5M Sexual Assault Settlement
Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn and his legal team created a limited liability company separate from the mogul’s eponymous casino business to conceal a $7.5M payout to a woman who accused the developer of sexual misconduct.
Nevada records show the LLC, called Entity Y, was established in 2005 after a manicurist at one of Wynn's Las Vegas resorts accused him of forcing her to have sex with him. A lawyer for the company told a judge at an October hearing the LLC was created purely to handle the settlement, the Wall Street Journal reports. The disclosure came as part of an ongoing legal battle between Wynn and his ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, over her push to regain voting rights on her nearly 9% stake in Wynn Resorts.
Wynn used his personal funds to pay the settlement, which is one of several instances of alleged sexual misconduct involving the mogul documented in a January WSJ report. He has denied assaulting the woman who received the financial settlement and said the allegations were concocted by his ex-wife in their ongoing lawsuit. A Wynn Resorts spokesman told the WSJ Friday the settlement payment would not have been made if it pertained to an alleged assault. An August court hearing involving Wynn Resorts lawyer and Entity Y manager James Pisanelli disputes that.
“And what we’re talking about here are allegations of assault by a company executive,” the court transcript states.
The allegations are taking a toll on the company, which is facing scrutiny from regulators in Massachusetts, Nevada and the Chinese territory of Macau. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has threatened to pull the plug on Wynn’s license to operate a $2.4B casino resort under construction in the Boston suburb of Everett. The MGC said its decision would hinge on how Wynn Resorts handles its own internal review of the sexual misconduct allegations.
Wynn won a highly competitive bidding process to secure the rights to build the only casino in Greater Boston. But the company’s failure to disclose the settlement is irking the MGC, which adds the decision is a crucial part of its investigation.
“This was a private agreement and steps were taken to keep it from the public domain,” MGC Investigations and Enforcement Bureau Director Karen Wells said to the WSJ.
Wynn Resorts maintains the settlement was a private matter that did not require mentioning during the application process for the Massachusetts gambling license.