Adelson Firm Probed for Possible Bribery

Feds eye Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s mainland China deals
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2012 10:32 AM CDT
Adelson Firm Probed for Possible Bribery
Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam Ochsorn, stand in front of a model of the Sands Cotai Central during a news conference in Macau earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

More bad news for Mitt Romney's biggest donor: US federal authorities are investigating Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands Corp. for possible violation of American anti-bribery laws in deals it made in China, the Wall Street Journal finds. The probe is separate from the investigation into alleged money laundering at Sands casinos, and goes beyond bribery allegations made in a wrongful dismissal suit from the former chief of Adelson's Macau operations. Sands' own audit committee is also investigating the deals.

The deals being investigated are a real estate payment for the planned Adelson Center for US-China Enterprise in Beijing, which never opened; the sponsorship of a professional Chinese basketball team; and the creation of a new high-speed ferry service to bring gamblers from Hong Kong to Sands casinos in Macau. There is no sign that Adelson himself was directly involved in any shady Chinese deals, insiders say. The billionaire is suing a Jewish Democratic group for claiming his donations to Romney were made with "dirty money." (More Sheldon Adelson stories.)

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