Scott Sibella pleads guilty in AML case amidst $7.45m settlement

Sibella pleaded guilty to his role in the illegal bookmaking business operated by ex-athletes in association with two Las Vegas properties.

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Scott Sibella has pleaded guilty to the criminal charge of failing to file reports of suspicious transactions.

This was part of a wider money laundering probe investigating illegal activity at The Cosmopolitan and MGM Grand, the property where Sibella was the former President.

Sibella was the President of MGM Grand from August 2017 until February 2019, during which time he was aware of an illegal bookmaking business being operated in association the casino.

This was operated by Wayne Nix, an former minor league baseball player, who was allowed to use the money from the illegal gambling business at the MGM Grand and The Cosmopolitan.

As part of the Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA), MGM Grand admitted that Sibella ‘provided Nix complementary benefits to encourage him to spend his illicit proceeds at the casino’ and ‘admitted that Nix used the golf trips with MGM Grand’s high-net-worth customers to solicit new customers for his illegal gambling business.’

The investigation uncovered that the MGM Grand casino had accepted $4.1m in cash from Nix’s illegal bookmaking by 2020, while The Cosmopolitan has accepted $928,600.

In 2022, Sibella said to law enforcement that he didn’t report the AML failings because he “didn’t want to know because of my position,… If we know, we can’t allow them to gamble…. I didn’t ask, I didn’t want to know I guess because he wasn’t doing anything to cheat the casino.”

The same year, Nix pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and one count of subscribing to a false tax return.

This week, Sibella also pled guilty and will receive his sentencing on 8 May.

He can receive a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Meanwhile, the MGM Grand will pay a monetary fine of $6.5m and The Cosmopolitan will pay a fine of $928,600 - the same amount it had accepted from Nix.


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