Possible links between Sands China, a unit of Las Vegas Sands and organized crime will be bad news for Sheldon Adelson, and a fired CEO might tell a pretty shocking tale if documents will be released. Steven Jacobs claims he was unfairly dismissed by Sands China in 2010 because he was unwilling to collect sensitive information on Chinese officials to exert “leverage” on them, as reported by Bloomberg. Jacobs has been fighting for four years to have documents released that would expose ties between Sands associates and Chinese organized crime. Sands China claims Jacobs stole the documents, and therefore, they cannot be used as evidence.
In a court filing, Sands China said, “These reports contain extremely sensitive, highly confidential non-public information, consisting of proprietary and highly confidential business and strategic information.” A hearing is set in Las Vegas, but the delay has also been over whether it should be litigated there or in China.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government is trying to cut down on gambling in Macau due to corruption and ties many casinos have to organized crime. The U.S. has cleaned house in this matter, and long gone are the days when crime bosses like Bugsy Siegel used to work out of Vegas. MGM Mirage sold its stake in its Atlantic City casino over concern about ties with criminal groups.
Adelson said investigation into Chinese officials was Jacobs doing, and was not ordered by him, and he wasn’t aware of it until Jacobs left. Jacobs accuses Adelson of playing a “game of doublespeak.” If the documents were purely Jacobs’ own project, why would Sands be so eager to have them disqualified as evidence?