Update 11-26-2015: CfA retracts public comments and allegations, issues apology.
Sheldon Adelson, billionaire and chairman of the Las Vegas Sands (LVS) is known for having strong political ties in the nation and donating large sums of money to political campaigns that he supports. The Campaign for Accountability (CfA) recently sent in a request to the Federal Election Commission and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to launch an investigation into Adelson and LVS due to allegations of being associated to the Chinese mafia through its Macau operations.
The Cfa wants the authorities to investigate and determine if any money laundering took place via the Las Vegas Sands Corp and if any of those funds were then donated to political campaigns. These allegations surfaced after internal documents from LVS highlighted the fact that the company had a business relationship with an individual by the name of Cheung Chi Tai, who has been identified of being the lead of a Chinese triad that runs a number of criminal activities. LVS has also been accused of having ties with Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng who is currently facing criminal charges in New York. Seng has been suspected of being a key member in the Chinese triad and controlling prostitution in Macau.
In a statement, CfA Executive Director Anne Weismann stated, “Sheldon Adelson is one of the largest if not the largest political donor in history. Federal authorities have long been concerned about the reach of the tentacles of Chinese organized crime. If triad money is winding up in the campaign coffers of U.S. politicians through Mr. Adelson’s contributions, the American people deserve to know it.”
The government of the U.S. had earlier launched an investigation into Macau’s casinos and concluded that these casinos have strong ties with the Chinese mafia and rely on them to provide high profile junket operators who funnel VIP gamblers into Macau’s casinos and also to provide other adult entertainment services. Cheung Chi Tai who faces money laundering charges in Hong Kong has worked with the LVS in the past as a junket guarantor as LVS maintains to have stopped using his services. There are allegations which refute this statement as internal documentation show that Chi Tai still maintains a relationship with LVS, according to CfA. These internal reports also suggest that LVS executives were aware of a number of illegal activities taking place in LVS casinos but preferred to turn a blind eye as it brought in more business.
Weismann went on to say that what happens in Macau does not stay in Macau as Adleson is a huge donor to the Republican party and its in the best interests of the country to find out if those funds used to finance political campaigns are clean or have any ties to the Chinese triad.
Ron Reese, a spokesman for Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp., said the allegations have been heard and laid to rest before. “Clearly the political silly season has started and this is an obvious political stunt,” Reese said.