Posted 10 months ago on Aug. 3, 2012, 1:38 p.m. EST by frogmanofborneo
from New York, NY
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
That Romney, Gingrich and the GOP are on the take from a guy whose joint in Macau was raided by police and where 100 prostitutes and 28 pimps were swept up is not a hypothetical. That this guy Adelson is being sued for wrongful termination and the plaintiff says in court that Adelson dumped him for opposing Adelson's "prostitution strategy" is not a hypothetical. That Adelson's attorney told an inaccuracy to the judge regarding the availability of evidence is not hypothetical it's real. That if the plaintiff lives that long and isn't "reached" in some way the trial will continue August 30 also is a fact. The judge has warned Adelson's attorney not to lose or forget the documents this time. The DNCC, had they said it this way, would not have to apologize for anything.
A few days after Las Vegas Sands fired the president of its Macau casinos in July 2010, the company copied the hard drives of his office computers and moved the data to its headquarters in Las Vegas. In the months that followed, the company now acknowledges, its lawyers reviewed those records as they prepared to defend the casino giant against a civil suit by the executive for wrongful termination.
But when the executive, Steven Jacobs, asked in court for copies of his documents, a lawyer for the Las Vegas Sands subsidiary in Macau said it could not move files out of the Chinese enclave without permission from local authorities. The lawyer did not mention that copies of the documents were already in the United States.
Federal investigators examining Jacobs’ claims that he had been ordered to overlook illegal activity in Macau faced the same roadblock, the lawyer told a Nevada judge.
In little-noticed court filings earlier this month, however, Las Vegas Sands disclosed for the first time that the copies of Jacobs’ emails and other documents had been transferred nearly two years ago to the United States without notifying Macau authorities.
The filings did not explain the company’s previous statements to the court, noting only that the transfer of records from Macau to the United States had been done “in error.” The company also informed the judge it had destroyed at least some original files when it reused one of Jacobs’ computers in Macau.
The owner of Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson, has been in the national spotlight as the largest individual donor to Republican candidates in the 2012 campaign. Last month, Adelson and his wife gave $10 million to a super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, which amounted to half of its receipts for June. The New York Times reported that Adelson is funding an effort to target pro-Romney Jewish voters in battleground states and is reportedly planning to meet with Romney in Israel on Monday.
Questions about Las Vegas Sands’ business practices in Macau have emerged as a political issue in the campaign. Democrats recently seized on an allegation in Jacobs’ legal pleadings — that Adelson tolerated prostitution at the Macau casinos — and issued press releases attacking Republican congressional candidates who accepted contributions from a PAC he supports.
Adelson adamantly denied the charge and his lawyer threatened to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for libel for advancing the claim.
The company’s recent court filings raise questions about whether Las Vegas Sands has been fully cooperative with the federal investigations of the company.
At a July 2011 hearing before the Nevada judge on the Jacobs case, Patricia Glaser, a lawyer for the Las Vegas Sands subsidiary, said Macau law posed a “stone wall” to federal investigators seeking documents. Glaser said the company had not provided investigators records from its Macau operations “in any way, shape or form.”
People familiar with the federal inquiries said that Las Vegas Sands continued to make similar arguments to federal officials over the past year. The slow flow of documents hampered the case, delaying interviews of key witnesses, those people said.
A spokesman for Las Vegas Sands said the company would not respond to questions about the case, including whether it has turned over any documents since Glaser made her statements last year. The spokesman, Ron Reese, said, “These questions will be answered in due course in the most appropriate forum — namely the courtroom.”
Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, who is hearing Jacobs’ civil suit, is now weighing financial sanctions against Las Vegas Sands for its conduct in the civil case. Gonzalez told lawyers in the case at a recent hearing that she wants to learn more about “the lack of forthrightness with respect to these documents that were taken out of Macau many years ago and which nobody’s told me about during the entire litigation.”
Gonzalez has allowed Jacobs’ lawyers to take further testimony on the handling of the Macau documents from company officials, perhaps including Adelson, before a scheduled hearing at the end of August on possible sanctions.
The company, which disclosed to investors that the federal investigations involve possible violation of U.S. laws banning bribery of overseas officials, has said it is cooperating with authorities.
It is difficult to assess precisely how delays in turning over documents have affected the federal inquiries, which involve both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Jacobs’ lawyers have said their client turned over copies of some of his documents to federal investigators in response to requests from the Justice Department.
But federal prosecutors and SEC attorneys in such cases typically seek to assemble a complete set of files from the company and its executives before they question witnesses.
Adelson is among the world’s richest people with a personal fortune estimated at $25 billion, a substantial amount of which stems from his company’s profits in Macau, the world’s gambling capital.