By Josh Resnek
Depositions are being taken in the Anthony Gattineri v Wynn Resorts federal case in which Gattinari, one of the original casino land owners, is seeking to be compensated for a handshake deal he apparently concluded with former Encore president Robert DeSalvio.
The depositions, some taken last week and continuing feature a full array of key figures in the casino land deal.
Steve Tocco (ML Strategies), former president of Encore Boston Harbor casino Robert DeSalvio, former Wynn Resorts general counsel Kim Sinatra and Republican Presidential candidate Bill Weld are all expected to give depositions.
Tocco, it has been reported by a source, is giving his deposition earlier this week in a law office somewhere in downtown Boston.
Wynn got a steal on the land in Everett in 2013 when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission handed Wynn a $40 million discount on the Everett parcel as a result of believing that the sellers of the land (FBT Everett Realty) had some ties to organized crime.
MGC also demanded that each member of FBT sign a certificate indicating that they were indeed an owner in the land and that they would not be passing on any proceeds to others, namely gangsters.
FBT members Paul Lohnes and Dustin DeNunzio signed immediately, seemingly enthusiastic about getting $40 million less on the land.
Gattineri held out until a June 2014 meeting in San Diego, CA where he met one on one with DeSalvio. Gattineri claims DeSalvio made an oral agreement to make up for the land’s discounted price.
In other words, Gattineri claimed to cut his own deal with Wynn Resorts.
Seven years later, the case is just now picking up steam.
Tocco was part of the triumvirate of Weld and DeSalvio who met with Gattineri in early 2014 to persuade him to sign the certificate.
Without Gattineri’s signature, there would be no casino. The men met Gattineri at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, pleading with him to sign the certificate for the MGC.
Sources close to this case and its widespread implications all ask where was the MGC? Why didn’t they ask Gattineri to sign or have a meeting with him? Was it an MGC document, or did MGC dispatch Mintz Levin to work out a deal with Wynn that has never been reported?
The case promises to shed some light on how the casino came to be. Tocco, long a powerful figure in Boston, is going to be subjected to questions this week by Gattineri’s attorney Stephen Gordon. The session was expected to last all morning and afternoon when it occurred this week.
DeSalvio was deposed in February, taking a day off from his new job at Resorts World Catskills to sit for a deposition.
DeSalvio had been working at Wynn for a few months when he decided to meet with Gattineri in San Diego. Who sent him on that mission and what could he have possibly said in that Westgate Hotel in San Diego to cause Gattineri to suddenly sign off on MGC’s certificate?
This remains to be ascertained. Sources claim it didn’t matter what he said, the casino license was safe.
Weld will be the last to be deposed of the three who visited Gattineri for the elusive signature. The former governor, who has become a deal maker supreme, probably won’t admit to remember much.
His presence alone should have been enough to convince Gattineri to sign away anything.
It didn’t. It would take more calls from Weld and that final meeting with DeSalvio before Gattineri signed.
Depositions like this are usually meaningless. They are a formality on the march to a trial and we at the Leader Herald could only hope for such an event. Former governor Weld, Steve Tocco and Robert DeSalvio, all taking the stand to testify about the secrets of how Wynn came to be in Everett.
We at the Leader Harald could only hope for such an event.