When Las Vegas Sands Chairman and billionaire Sheldon Adelson decided to terminate his Sands China CEO Steve Jacobs in 2010, he had no idea of the repercussions that decision would bring. Jacobs took Adelson and the Las Vegas Sands Corp to court stating that he was dismissed on unfair grounds.
Jacobs accused Adelson of asking him to carry out a number of illegal assignments including gathering confidential information on senior government officials in Macau. Jacobs stated Adelson wanted to use this information to blackmail government officials in Macau and get them to grant special favors to his Sands China operation. Adelson has denied these accusations and Las Vegas Sands Corp is currently fighting the case.
The UK based Guardian News and Media Ltd and the Campaign for Accountability, a not-for-profit organisation have filed separate motions requesting Nevada judge Elizabeth Gonzalez to unseal confidential reports known as the ‘Vickers reports’ and make the information public.
The ‘Vickers Reports’ were compiled by ex-Hong Kong police officer and private investigator Steve Vickers who specializes in investigating organized crime that is run by the Chinese mafia. Both these organizations want the judge to publish the contents of these reports as they believe it is in the public interest.
Adelson has made significant financial donations to the Republic party. The Campaign for Accountability believes that the report raises concerns about the source of those campaign contributions. In a statement, Allen Lichtenstein, an attorney that represents the Campaign for Accountability said, “Mr. Adelson’s alleged close ties to illegal and corrupt foreign practices raise very serious and credible questions, not only about possible corruption in the Nevada gaming industry, but also about whether those practices have financed his campaign activities and whether he has used the anonymity of campaign contributions to launder illegally obtained foreign funds,”
The pressure has continued to mount on the Las Vegas Sands Corp as they initially expected the case filed by Steve Jacobs to be tried outside of Nevada since the Sands Corp China was not an American company. However, on the 22nd of May Judge Gonzalez decided that the case would be tried in Nevada, a decision that the Las Vegas Sands Corp has vowed to challenge.
Las Vegas Sands Corp decided not to make a statement regarding the motion to open up the ‘Vickers Reports’ to the public.