Federal subpoena to Resorts World preceded Sibella’s departure
Federal authorities from the U.S. Central District Court of California subpoenaed communications between Resorts World employees and customers, as well as player data, according to a “privileged and confidential” memo from the hotel’s general counsel Gerald Gardner obtained by the Current.
The memo is dated Aug. 9, one week after the Current reported a federal probe by the Criminal Division of the Internal Revenue Service and Homeland Security of Las Vegas hotels, including Resorts World,
On Friday, Resorts World announced the immediate departure of chief operating officer and president Scott Sibella for violating company policy, according to a New York consulting firm representing Resorts World. Sibella, who was a longtime executive with MGM Resorts International before opening Resorts World in 2021, has not responded to requests for comment.
Gardner writes the federal grand jury subpoena “relates to policies, procedures, and practices of the Company’s Casino Operations (including sports book and poker), Casino Marketing, Finance (including Cage and Credit), and Compliance Departments. The subpoena seeks documents relating to the Company’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies, Know Your Customer (KYC) practices, policies and practices relating to extensions of credit, comps or other benefits, use of promotional chips, and other customer transactions.”
“The subpoena requires production of communications between certain named employees of the Company and other named individuals, some of whom are believed to be current or past casino customers, including player histories, Enhanced Due Diligence activity (EDD), Cash Transaction Reports (CTRs), and Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs),” the memo says.
According to an employee who asked not to be identified, about a dozen individuals are named in the subpoena.
Last year, the Current reported that gambler R.J. Cipriani was notifying law enforcement of individuals he believed were undesirable and gambling at Resorts World with Sibella’s knowledge, including convicted investment fraudster Robert Alexander, an associate of Las Vegas attorney and Resort World vendor David Chesnoff. Chesnoff was a shareholder in the company Alexander used to defraud investors.
Cipriani also dropped the dime on convicted illegal gambler and admitted money launderer David Stroj, the manager of Tacos El Cabron at Resorts World, according to court documents. His father, Peter Stroj, was the owner of the taco stand. The Gaming Control Board declined to say whether the taco stand’s closure shortly after the Current’s report was related to the state’s investigation of alleged ties between the vendor and Sibella.
In February, Gov. Joe Lombardo’s newly appointed GCB member George Assad unilaterally announced the state had cleared Sibella of wrongdoing. The GCB is not responding to requests for comment on whether it is reopening an investigation into Sibella and Resorts World.
“You are receiving this notice because you may have access to information relevant to the Subpoena,” Gardner wrote. “Be advised the Company is legally required to take adequate measures to preserve all documents and electronically stored information (“ESI”) that may be related in any way to the Subpoena or the subject matter therein.”