Caesars Entertainment Corp. said in a quarterly Securities and Exchange Commission filing yesterday that they are in discussions with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCen) to settle charges of money laundering. The settlement is reportedly going to be somewhere between $12 and $20 million. Caesars met with government officials on April 29.
The allegations of money laundering were first revealed in in October of 2013. At that time it was reported that that FinCen was considering whether to levy civil penalties alone or seek additional enforcement, presumable criminal, for purported violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. A grand jury was investigating the company’s practices at the time, but FinCen did not disclose the source of the allegations publicly.
Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., the parent company of Caesars Palace has been attempting to restructure its long-term debt, which is listed in bankruptcy proceedings as $22.8 billion. The company has said, “We expect that any financial penalties imposed upon Caesars Palace would not impact Caesars Entertainment’s financial results.”
Caesars is not the only major casino company to face money laundering charges. Two months ago FinCen levied a penalty against Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal – although because of bankruptcy proceedings they were only expected to tender about $50,000 with the penalty taking the form of an unsecured claim in the casino’s bankruptcy.
Last November Reuters reported that the IRS was requesting information from Wynn Resorts on their high rolling customers. Wynn denied that they were aware of any investigation. However in a report by the Wall street Journal it was stated the news outlet had seen the letter from the government asking for, “an organizational chart of Wynn senior management and staff working in casino and credit operations.” The IRS reportedly was also seeking details in all Wynn branch offices that offer credit programs to their customers.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. agreed to a deal with federal prosecutors in August 2013, paying $47.4 million to not be prosecuted criminally for allegations relating to money laundering at The Venetian in 2006 and 2007.
Settlements do not always contain language of admitting criminal activity.