Wynn seeks to depose Okada in Las Vegas
AP Photo/Nevada Appeal, Cathleen Allison
19 June 2012
Casino resort owner Wynn Resorts Ltd. asked a state court judge Monday to require that dissident board member Kazuo Okada appear for a deposition in Las Vegas so he can be questioned by Wynn attorneys.
In just the latest blast in the two lawsuits pitting the billionaire Japanese businessman Okada against billionaire Wynn CEO Steve Wynn and the rest of the Wynn board, Wynn attorneys said they want to question Okada about assertions by Okada that as a Wynn director, he's entitled to see books and records from the formative years of Wynn Resorts from 2000 to 2002.
"He accuses Stephen Wynn of wrongdoing and improprieties in the early years of Wynn Resorts' existence, but provides no basis for his defamatory statements," said a Monday court filing by the Wynn legal team in Clark County District Court.
The Wynn attorneys said that in his latest document demand, Okada has failed to specify "what besides his own personal venom for Mr. Wynn and his personal agenda in his lawsuit against Wynn Resorts has motivated his request."
The Wynn attorneys said they're seeking "immediate permission from this court to conduct Okada's deposition, in this jurisdiction.''
Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Monday scheduled a June 28 hearing on the deposition motion. That's the same day Wynn and Okada attorneys are scheduled to argue over whether Okada's latest document demands are reasonable and relate to his role as a director of the company, which has gaming resorts in Las Vegas and the Macau district of China.
In the state court action Gonzalez is presiding over, Okada is demanding to see books and records including those covering how Wynn Resorts may have entertained and provided benefits to Macau officials while seeking its casino license there in the early 2000s. Okada also is questioning the Wynn Resorts pledge of a $135 million donation to the University of Macau and has suggested this was improper given the company's gaming license there. Wynn attorneys have said the company doesn't provide improper benefits to gaming officials and that the university donation was proper.
In a separate federal lawsuit pending in Nevada, as Vegas-based Wynn Resorts and Okada sued each other after Wynn Resorts moved to remove Okada from the company this year and forcibly redeem his $2.7 billion stock stake in the company at a discount. That was after Wynn Resorts claimed Okada had provided improper benefits to Filipino casino regulators while trying to gain a casino license for himself in the Philippines. Okada has denied those allegations.
In the federal case, Wynn has complained Okada has refused to accept personal service of its lawsuit against him. Deposing him in Las Vegas in the state case would appear to give the company the chance to personally hand him the federal suit.
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