Las Vegas Sands Finds Possible Crimes in Bribery of Chinese Officials

by , Mar 5, 2013 | 10:00 am

LasVegasSandsLas Vegas Sands Corp. may have violated federal law that bans the bribing of foreign public officials, the casino operator told the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

In a one-sentence statement within the company’s annual report filing, Las Vegas Sands said its Audit Committee found possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

“As part of the annual audit of the company’s financial statements, the Audit Committee advised the company and its independent accountants that it had reached certain preliminary findings, including that there were likely violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions of the ( act),” Las Vegas Sands said in its Form 10-K filing.

But Las Vegas Sands added it has “improved its practices with respect to books and records and internal controls” in recent years.

The SEC asked the company to produce documents relating to its compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices in February 2011.

Las Vegas Sands also was advised the U.S. Department of Justice was conducting a similar investigation.

Las Vegas Sands operates casinos in Macau and Singapore, which provide the company almost 80 percent of its annual revenues and cash flow.

The investigations arose after allegations of bribery of foreign officials were raised in the wrongful termination lawsuit filed in October 2010 by Steven Jacobs, the company’s former CEO of Sands China. The lawsuit is still pending in Clark County District Court.

In its annual report filing, Las Vegas Sands said the preliminary findings of the audit committee and attorneys found that any violations do not have a material effect on the financial statements of the company, nor do they warrant any restatement of the Las Vegas Sands’ past financial statements.

Las Vegas Sands said the possible violations “do not represent a material weakness in the company’s internal controls over financial reporting” as of the end of 2012.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.
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