Scott Sibella, former President of MGM Grand, has admitted guilt to the criminal charge of failing to file reports of suspicious transactions. This was part of a broader investigation into money laundering and illegal activity at The Cosmopolitan and MGM Grand.
During Sibella’s tenure as President from August 2017 to February 2019, he was aware of an illegal bookmaking operation associated with the casino. Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball player, ran the operation and used the proceeds for gambling at both The Cosmopolitan and MGM Grand.
MGM Grand has acknowledged in a Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) that Sibella provided Nix with benefits to incentivize him to spend his illicit profits at the casino. It was also admitted that Nix used golf trips with high-net-worth customers to recruit new clients for his illegal gambling business.
The investigation revealed that Nix’s illegal bookmaking operation had funneled $4.1 million in cash to the MGM Grand by 2020, while The Cosmopolitan had accepted $928,600.
In 2022, Sibella told law enforcement that he intentionally did not report the money laundering issues due to his position and the potential impact on the ability to allow customers to gamble. He claimed ignorance and stated that he did not inquire further because Nix was not cheating the casino.
Nix pleaded guilty in the same year to conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and subscribing to a false tax return.
Sibella recently pleaded guilty as well and will be sentenced on May 8th. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Both MGM Grand and The Cosmopolitan are also facing fines. MGM Grand will pay $6.5 million and The Cosmopolitan will pay a fine equal to the amount they had accepted from Nix, $928,600.
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