As Elaine Wynn seeks support for re-election as a Director of Wynn Resorts Ltd, allegations have surfaced that Ms. Wynn does not share the same goals as other stockholders of the company. As the former wife of company chairman Steve Wynn, Ms. Wynn has been accused of failing to declare a potential conflict of interest in regards to a land deal in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is also accused of selling company stock during a blackout period before a corporate earnings release.
According to the board of Wynn Resorts, it was decided in February that Ms. Wynn would not be re-nominated for her position on the board as her current terms will expire on the 24th of April. This also coincides with the annual meeting for the company. Ms. Wynn is a co-founder of the company and has been a member of the board for over a decade. When they divorced, she and Steve Wynn split their stake in Wynn Resorts evenly. One element of their divorce settlement reportedly precludes her from selling more than $10 million worth of stock per year without his consent. She has sued to change this decree. The condition is seen as a way for Steve Wynn to not lose control of the company to outsiders.
On Tuesday, Wynn Resorts stated in a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission that there was potential improper behavior with Ms. Wynn in regards to a land deal in Las Vegas. In the report, Ms. Wynn is accused of participating in board meetings in which the company planned on acquiring land in Las Vegas. The board is accusing Ms. Wynn of knowing that her nephew was involved in the competing bid and did not make this information known. The land was eventually purchased by a group which included her nephew.The land of the deal now belongs to a group that includes Andrew Pascal, the nephew of Wynn, and his partner Crown Resorts Ltd, with James Packer.
In the filing, the board is accusing Wynn of selling $10 million in company shares via her charitable foundation when a blackout period took place ahead of the earnings release of the company. The directors are not allowed to sell common stock during these time frames based on company policy.
In response to the allegations, Ms. Wynn has released a statement: “The Wynn Resorts Board of Directors has repeatedly presented a number of insinuations that are without factual basis and seem designed to distract stockholders from the real issues. This pattern and practice of insinuation without factual basis is disturbing to me and misleading to you.”
Ms. Wynn claims she had no knowledge of nephew being involved in the land purchase, which would negate any reason why she would have removed herself from the discussions of acquiring the land.