LAS VEGAS – Scott Sibella, former President of MGM Grand, has entered a guilty plea for breaching the Bank Secrecy Act by failing to report suspicious transactions carried out at the casino, as required by federal law. The plea was made on Wednesday afternoon.
Sibella held the position of President at MGM Grand between August 2017 and February 2019. According to his plea agreement, he was aware that a casino patron named Wayne Nix was operating an illegal bookmaking business. Despite this knowledge, Sibella allowed Nix to gamble at MGM Grand and its affiliated properties, using proceeds from the illegal gambling operation, without informing the casino’s compliance department.
Additionally, the plea agreement states that Sibella permitted Nix to receive complimentary benefits at the casino, including meals, accommodation, and golf trips with senior executives and other high-value customers. These perks were intended to encourage Nix to continue patronizing MGM Grand and its affiliated properties.
The Department of Justice reveals that, despite receiving training and being aware of his obligations, Sibella failed to report Nix as an illegal sports bookmaker to the MGM compliance personnel. Consequently, MGM Grand failed to submit at least one suspicious activity report related to Nix’s funds, particularly cash payments made to the casino by Nix.
Court documents indicate that Sibella admitted to law enforcement in 2022 that he believed Nix was involved in illegal sports bookmaking. However, he claimed he intentionally avoided further knowledge due to his position. Sibella stated, “If we know, we can’t allow them to gamble… I didn’t ask, I didn’t want to know because he wasn’t doing anything to cheat the casino.”
Sibella is scheduled to be sentenced on May 8, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Nix, who pleaded guilty in April 2022 to conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and subscribing to a false tax return, is set to be sentenced on March 6.
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