Last week, Las Vegas Sands Corp. revealed in its annual report that it was facing probes by both the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of Justice over potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in its Macau casino operations. One of the issues to be examined: How Sands came to hire its chief lawyer in the former Portuguese colony that has overtaken Las Vegas as the world’s top gambling destination.
The company said in its filing last week that it believes the investigations stem from allegations raised by Steven Jacobs, the former chief executive officer of Sands China Ltd., the division that oversaw the Macau casinos, in a lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court in Nevada last October. In his complaint, Jacobs claims he was wrongfully fired in part for resisting demands by Sands CEO and owner Sheldon Adelson that the company “continue to use the legal services of Macau attorney Leonel Alves despite concerns that Mr. Alves’ retention posed serious risks under the criminal provisions of the [FCPA].”
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