It would seem that the feud between Kazuo Okada and Steve Wynn had reached an impasse after the former was officially removed from the board of directors of Wynn Resorts. But when you have two men with deep pockets and endless resources, a feud as explosive as this one won’t just fade into the night with barely a whimper.
And so, Kazuo Okada is back with a vengeance of a thousand samurais, and the Japanese billionaire who once held a majority stake in Wynn Resorts has brought Michael Chertoff to the party.
At the behest of Okada, the former Homeland Security chief led his own investigative report on the one prepared by a group led by former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh for Wynn Resorts, claiming that the latter report was “structurally deficient, one-sided, and seemingly advocacy driven.”
As first reported by the Review-Journal, the report, according to Chertoff, also cherry-picked evidence to make Okada look bad before ultimately slamming it by saying that it lacked objectivity, factual support, and was “stretched to reach conclusions that would be helpful to the Wynn Resorts board”.
Apparently, this fight has become more than just Wynn vs Okada. It also now involves a former FBI director and an ex-Homeland Security chief. Where’s the steel cage, fellas?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that Chertoff’s report is a response to the Freeh report Wynn Resorts commissioned that not only led to Okada’s ouster from the company’s board of directors, but also saw him in the cross hairs of the Department of Justice, the Feds, and even the Nevada Gaming Control Board. For months, it appeared that the Japanese had conceded the battle, having gone silent with nary a peep to defend himself against all the accusations being thrown his way.
But it turns out there was purpose behind that silence, and it came in the form of Chertoff’s report that Okada himself said “confirms what I have maintained since the Freeh report was issued. … It’s obvious that the biased report was part of Steve Wynn’s campaign to eliminate me as a rival to his power within Wynn Resorts.’’
Not surprisingly, Wynn Resorts has been silent since the report came out late last week. It probably needed some time to digest all the information contained in the Chertoff report, especially its claims that the Freeh report only contained information that would best help Wynn’s case against his one-time BFF.
It may have taken a while, but Kazuo Okada is coming with some heavy artillery in tow in his ongoing legal tussle with Steve Wynn. It’s become a game of one-upsmanship between these two and their fight has even spilled over and involved two decorated former federal officials on opposite ends of the fence.
That’s what having deep pockets and a vast supply of resources will do.