Former MGM Grand President Scott Sibella Sentenced to Probation for Bank Secrecy Act Violation

Home » Former MGM Grand President Scott Sibella Sentenced to Probation for Bank Secrecy Act Violation

Former Strip casino president Scott Sibella has avoided prison time but will be on probation for a year after being sentenced on Wednesday following his guilty plea for violating the Bank Secrecy Act. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee, based in Los Angeles, also fined Sibella $9,500 for actions he took as president of the MGM Grand Las Vegas in 2018.

Sibella’s actions and statement:

Scott Sibella, who authorized casino marketing representatives to allow Wayne Nix, an illegal bookmaker, to gamble millions of dollars at the casino and pay his debts in cash, acknowledged his suspicion of Nix’s funds but failed to report it. “The decision to plead to the single charge, for failing to file a suspicious activity report [SAR] at MGM Resorts in 2017, was not easily arrived at given the underlying facts and realities in this matter,” Sibella said in a statement provided by his attorneys following the conclusion of the hearing in Los Angeles. “I was charged from the very beginning for not filing an SAR, accepted a plea, and have taken full and complete responsibility for what I did.”

Attorneys for Sibella noted in a court filing that a year of probation and a $9,500 fine are consistent with his plea agreement. In a separate statement reported by The Nevada Independent, attorneys John SpilotroJeffrey Rutherford, and Michael Artan said Sibella “never used a betting account and never made any illegal bets.” Sibella formally pleaded guilty in January.

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Support letters sent to the judge included one from Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill, who wrote that he has considered Sibella a friend for almost seven years. Longtime Las Vegas sportsbook operator Nick Bogdanovich wrote that “this one mistake should not define” Sibella’s career.

Sibella’s career and background:

Sibella was president of MGM Grand for eight years before leaving in 2019 to join Resorts World Las Vegas, overseeing the development of the $4.3 billion Strip property.

In January, Sibella pleaded guilty to violating federal anti-money laundering compliance programs by failing to report suspicious transactions at the casino, as required by the Bank Secrecy Act. This plea came amidst an investigation that resulted in substantial fines for both MGM Grand Las Vegas and The Cosmopolitan. Combined, they faced a penalty of $7.45 million due to the actions of former employees and deficiencies in their anti-money laundering compliance protocols.

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According to a law enforcement document, Sibella confessed to being aware of Wayne Nix’s involvement in the booking business. He expressed perplexity at Nix’s substantial gambling funds, stating, “I couldn’t figure out how he had all the money he gambled with.”

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