Sheldon Adelson to Answer Graft Accusations in the US

5 years ago
Sheldon Adelson
22:33
25 May

The judge in Las Vegas has ruled that lawsuit which involves accusation of graft and organized crime that was linked to casinos owned by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson will be heard in US.

Adelson is being sued for wrongful dismissal and defamation by Steven Jacobs, former CEO of his casinos in Macau. Steven claims that he was fired back in 2010 for blocking hundreds of thousands of dollars of payments to Macau lawyer and legislator Leonel Alves on the grounds that these may violate US bribery law. He also mentioned that he was fired because he opposed doing business with people that are linked to Chinese organized crime group named Triads.

Jacobs claimed that the casino mogul Adelson has approved $700,000 payment in legal fees to Leonel Alves in order to serve Las Vegas Sands in Macau even though the company’s lawyers warned that the payment was far in excess of normal rates. Lawyers warned that Adelson’s move to approve such high payment to Leonel Alves could violate US bribery laws because Leonel could easily use his position to influence Macau officials.

Adelson now faces examination of his business relationship with Leonel Alves especially because he intervened to get him back on after Jacobs ended contract with Alves.

However casino mogul will also face questions about connection between his Macau casinos and a Hong Kong born leader of the Wo Hop To Triad named Cheung Chi Tai. Adelson, of course, claims that he had no direct business with Cheung Chi Tai but company's documents have tell a different story.

According to the company's documents Cheung Chi Tai is name that was found on contracts that involve “junket reps” who bring high rollers to Macau’s casinos. Adeslon said that Cheung is merely a gambler and that he had no significance to the company.

The court has heard different stories due to the testimony of former Las Vegas Sands’ head of gambling operations Robert Goldstein who claimed that they were doing business with Cheung Chi Tai. However he claimed the company has stopped business with Cheung when they found out that he has ties to organized crime.

Jacobs claimed that Sheldon Adelson was completely aware of Cheung’s ties to organized crime.

Casino mogul will also be questioned about his denial that the company had connections to the senior Chinese official Ng Lap Seng. Ng Lap Seng was described in court as “courier” for Las Vegas Sands Macau even though Adelson testified that no one in the company was doing business with him.

However Jacobs’ lawyer James Pisanelli strongly believes that Adelson was doing business with Ng Lap Seng due to the 2010 internal e-mail which was obtained by IRP. In the email sent to the company’s legal counsel Jacobs was requesting a background check on Ng. Jacobs also described Ng as Leonel Alves’ contact with Beijing and the one who acted like a courier by delivering messages from Sheldon Adelson.

In the court Adelson has accused Jacobs of being delusional and said that he was only fired due to his incompetence. Adelson has spent four days on the witness stand where he answered many difficult questions and gave testimony that contradicted his own executives and evidence that were presented in court.


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Ines is a Journalism student with many interests, poker being one of these. Her passion to learn and develop her horizons make her a valuable contributor to the site's content.Read more

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