Wynn Resorts former CEO lawsuit resurfaced | US District Judge seeks justice
Power corrupts the mind and those in power often get a free pass for their nefarious actions. Former Wynn Resorts CEO, Steve Wynn, almost managed to fly under the radar after several anonymous reports of sexual misconduct and harassment were filed against him. The case was dismissed, and the victims were rejected basic justice. However, U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon stepped in to revive the faded lawsuit.
The rise and fall of Steve Wynn
In 1967 Steve Wynn moved to Las Vegas where he gained immense success in the casino industry. The luxurious resort and gambling facility investments paid off over the years, as Steve is now worth $3.2B, making him the 279th wealthiest USA resident. Wynn and his ex-wife celebrated a grand opening of the Wynn Las Vegas in 2005 after years-worth of joined work. Wynn Resorts became a success, expanded to other locations over the years. Nevada’s location joined the list of the most profitable casinos in Sin City. Unfortunately, that was also the year where horrific allegations against Steve began surfacing.
The first of the many accusations were reported by a former Wynn employee who was summoned to Steve’s office back in 2005 for a manicure session. According to Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the woman was then defiled in the massage room leading to Wynn’s office. This incident was followed by a $7.5M settlement as it was brought to light. Nonetheless, Wynn’s pattern of sexual misconduct continued over the years.
Nine victims finally came together to report the former CEO’s sexual harassment, which turned into a lawsuit that was dismissed by a federal judge, James Mahan. The previous allegations already prompted Wynn to resign from his position as CEO and chairman of Wynn Resorts back in 2018, but the victims were adamant about calling out Wynn Resorts executives, who knowingly dismissed the issue over the years.
Nevada regulators charged Wynn a $20M settlement (plus $21M from the company’s insurance company) to Wynn Resorts was paid as part of a deal to settle shareholder lawsuits that accused the company’s directors of not disclosing the predator’s dirty deeds. Considering Steve’s net worth, this was but some pocket change, and no serious actions were taken to punish the irreversible crimes.
The primary reason for the 2020 case dismissal was the victims’ decision to remain anonymous. The nine women chose not to disclose their names, as they were worried about potential backlash. District Court Judge James Mahan claimed that the failure of the victims to defend their chosen pseudonyms and the lack of individual pleading didn’t hold up in court, as the women gave a “group statement” instead.
District judge steps in to save the day
U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon was not pleased with the outcome of the case and decided to pursue it further. However, being that the women’s complaints were swept under the rug, he chose to attack the issue from a different angle, attacking the securities fraud complaint stating that Wynn Resorts executives violated Securities and Exchange Commission laws and rules through “misrepresentations and omissions.”
Wynn Resorts’ statements combating the allegations brought up by Wynn’s ex-wife, Elaine Wynn, would become the focal point of the revived case. Steve Wynn and his executives fell short in telling a convincing story, despite the unrelenting streak of denying the allegations.
“The inference that these defendants were aware of Wynn’s alleged misconduct at the time of their statements is cogent and compelling,” Gordon stated.
Previously, the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGCB) affirmed the company’s and its current executives’ licensure and good standing despite the ongoing case. They quickly backtracked by charging Wynn Resorts $20M for failure to take action against Steve Wynn’s misconduct prior to his resignation. Additionally, a statement 2019 statement by NGCB claimed that they will not tolerate any discrimination or sexual harassment among their licensed operators. The failure to comply with the new regulations will result in a license notice. NGCB made a decision to fine Wynn $500,000 and permanently revoke his gaming license, however, the Supreme Court is considering Wynn’s appeal against this action.
Gordon is confident in his decision to resume the case, as there is an overwhelming amount of proof against both, Steve Wynn, and company executives that turned their heads to the allegations in order to maintain a reputable status. At this point, Wynn has little basis to continue defending his position successfully. The final decision in court may put an end to the mogul’s casino legacy.