Former MGM Grand President to be Sentenced for Failure to Report Illegal Bookmaking Activity

Former MGM Grand President to be Sentenced for Failure to Report Illegal Bookmaking Activity

The former president of the MGM Grand casino in Las Vegas, Scott Sibella, is facing sentencing on a federal criminal charge related to his failure to report millions of dollars in wagers by an illegal bookmaker at his casino. Sibella pleaded guilty in January to one count of failure to file reports of suspicious transactions required by casinos under the Bank Secrecy Act. Both his lawyers and prosecutors have requested that he be sentenced to probation.

This sentencing follows a complaint filed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board against Sibella with the state Gaming Commission for conduct underlying the federal criminal case. The civil complaint is seeking a fine and action against Sibella’s gaming license. Sibella admitted to knowing about a patron of his casino, former minor league baseball player Wayne Nix, running an illegal bookmaking business. Despite this knowledge, Sibella allowed Nix to gamble at MGM Grand and affiliated properties with illicit proceeds without notifying the compliance department.

In addition to Sibella’s legal troubles, MGM Grand and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas faced allegations of violating money laundering laws and the Bank Secrecy Act. The casinos agreed to settlements that required them to pay a combined $7.45 million and enhance their anti-money laundering compliance program. They accepted responsibility for laundering Nix’s illicit funds and failing to properly file suspicious activity reports on Nix, who conducted numerous transactions involving millions of dollars at the casinos between 2017 and 2020.

Following the investigation into his conduct at MGM Grand, Sibella was terminated from his position as president of Resorts World casino, which is owned by Genting Group. This termination came after Resorts World became aware of the investigation. Sibella’s lawyers stated that he is currently unemployed as a result of these legal issues.

The sentencing of Scott Sibella for his involvement in failing to report illegal bookmaking activity at the MGM Grand casino sheds light on the importance of transparency and compliance within the casino industry. The legal troubles faced by both Sibella and the casinos involved serve as a reminder of the consequences of turning a blind eye to illicit activities within the industry. As the case unfolds, it is evident that accountability and adherence to regulations are critical for maintaining the integrity of the gaming industry.

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