The ongoing saga of Jacobs vs Las Vegas Sands found Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson testifying before a judge at the Clark County Justice Center in Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Steven Jacobs is the former president of Sands Macau who is suing Las Vegas Sands Corp. and their subsidiary, Sands China Ltd. over wrongful termination and defamation. Before the trial can go forward however, Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez must decide if her courtroom has jurisdiction in the case as Sands China is located in Macau.
Steven Jacobs was terminated in 2010. Jacobs says he was fired because he objected to “excessive payments” made to Macau lawyer and legislator, Leonel Alves – citing influence peddling and US bribery laws. Adelson authorised a $700,000 payment in legal fees to Alves. Jacobs contends that Sands in-house lawyers cautioned him that the payments were far in excess of normal rates.
Jacobs also alleges that deals were made with junket representatives who had ties to organized crime Triads. Documents in the case have revealed that LVS extended over $30 million in credit to a person named in a US senate report as the head of a Triad, Hong Kong businessman, Cheung Chi Tai.
Adelson claimed he had no control over the day to day operations of the casino. He called the allegations “delusional” and “fabricated”.
Beyond the courtroom drama, the jurisdictional issue is extremely important as the facts that come out in the case could effect licensing for the Sands empire. Las Vegas gaming officials were present at the hearing to monitor the case.