(Bloomberg) -- Casino magnate Steve Wynn won an appeals court ruling dismissing a civil lawsuit brought by the US government that sought to make him register as a foreign agent involving his advocacy for extraditing a Chinese billionaire. 

The three-judge panel for the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit affirmed on Friday a lower court decision to throw out the case, which stemmed from Wynn’s actions during the Trump administration. 

Since “Wynn long ago ceased acting as a foreign agent, he has no present obligation to register,” the three-judge panel wrote. 

The case involves allegations from 2017 when Wynn informed then-President Donald Trump and others in the administration that China wanted the US to extradite billionaire Guo Wengui, who was critical of the Chinese government. In May 2022, the Justice Department filed its suit against the former Wynn Resorts Ltd. chief executive officer. 

DC District Judge James Boasberg had earlier tossed the government’s lawsuit, reasoning that the Foreign Agent Registration Act only relates to ongoing violations and years had passed since Wynn was required to file. 

Wynn’s attorneys have denied that their client lobbied on behalf of China. 

Robert Luskin, a partner at Paul Hastings who represented Wynn, argued that the panel must uphold Boasberg’s ruling since it was bound by a previous DC Circuit decision on the interpretation of FARA. The government noted that the prior court ruling only addressed FARA in a criminal context. 

Justice Department attorneys warned that lower court decision would encourage “gamesmanship” by individuals who would be less likely to register as foreign agents if they are aware there will be no civil consequences if they stop acting on behalf of non-US players. 

The panel was made up of DC Circuit Judge Cornelia Pillard, DC Circuit Judge Patricia Millett, both Obama-appointees, and DC Circuit Judge Karen Henderson, who was appointed by George H.W. Bush. 

The case is Attorney General of the United States v. Stephen Wynn, 22-5328, US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

(Update with law firm representing Wynn)

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