Elaine Wynn, ex-wife of Wynn Resorts Ltd founder and chairman Steve Wynn, has been accused in a civil lawsuit filed in Nevada, in the United States, of abusing her former privileges as a director of the company by copying some of its confidential computer files.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper reported the case had been lodged with Clark County District Court on March 28 and that it seeks punitive damages and more than US$15,000 in compensatory damages under a three-count complaint.
The suit alleges Ms Wynn copied company material to personal computers – in breach of her fiduciary and contractual obligations to the group – and that the files were shared with two law firms she had hired in her legal fight against Mr Wynn and the company.
According to Wynn Resorts’ March 2017 proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as of March 1 Ms Wynn held 9.4 percent of the firm, while Mr Wynn held 11.8 percent.
Stockholder agreements first signed in 2002 and amended in 2006 and 2010 require Elaine Wynn to vote her shares with her ex-husband, despite their 2010 divorce.
But in 2012 – the same year Wynn Resorts forcibly ordered the redemption at a discount of the company shares held by its then biggest single shareholder, Japanese gaming entrepreneur Kazuo Okada – Elaine Wynn filed a lawsuit seeking to free her of the obligation to vote her stock with Mr Wynn.
When Ms Wynn was up for re-election to the board in 2015, shareholders rejected her after the nominating committee did not endorse her. She subsequently accused Mr Wynn of orchestrating her ousting as “punishment for asking too many questions” about the company’s governance.
James Cole, a Washington D.C.-based lawyer for Ms Wynn, last week claimed in comments to Bloomberg News that Wynn Resorts was “wasting the court’s valuable time by filing a new complaint about a matter they already had before the court and abandoned when the hearing did not seem to go well for them”.
Wynn Resorts if the owner of Macau casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd. The legal tussle between the Wynn group and Mr Okada regarding his ousting from the boardroom is ongoing.
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Lionel Leong Vai Tac
Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance