This breaking story appears in Sunday’s edition of the NY Times: “In Filing, Casino Operator Admits Likely Violation of an Antibribery Law.”
Let me put a little spin on this: “A large portion of the money donated to GOP campaigns--from the top down and across the country—in the 2012 election cycle (and, for that matter, in the 2008 and 2010 election cycles, as well), was obtained illegally.”
Simply shocking! (Not.)
In Filing, Casino Operator Admits Likely Violation of an Antibribery LawI’ve been writing about the twisted antics of Sheldon Adelson, the guy whom George W. Bush referred to as: “That crazy Jewish billionaire,” for five years.
By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ
New York Times
March 3, 2013
The Las Vegas Sands Corporation, an international gambling empire controlled by the billionaire Sheldon G. Adelson, has informed the Security and Exchange Commission that it likely violated a federal law against bribing foreign officials.
In its annual regulatory report published by the commission on Friday, the Sands reported that its audit committee and independent accountants had determined that “there were likely violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions” of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The disclosure comes amid an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the company’s business activities in China.
It is the company’s first public acknowledgment of possible wrongdoing. Ron Reese, a spokesman for the Sands, declined to comment further…
And, over the past election cycle, many covered (and speculated about) the Adelson/Sands FCPA bribery story, including ProPublica in tandem with PBS’ “Frontline”:
Inside the Investigation of Leading Republican Money Man Sheldon AdelsonAs the ProPublica story informs us, Adelson knew of the many obstacles that existed with regard to doing business in Macau and China while his company “teetered on the brink of bankruptcy in late 2008.” But, he looked beyond those hurdles—including a basic fact of life that any successful effort in Macau would involve interacting with local organized crime—to a business venture with lots of opportunity.
by Matt Isaacs, Lowell Bergman and Stephen Engelberg
July 16, 2012, 9:30 a.m.
This story was co-published with PBS' "Frontline."
A decade ago gambling magnate and leading Republican donor Sheldon Adelson looked at a desolate spit of land in Macau and imagined a glittering strip of casinos, hotels and malls…
…The Macau bet paid off, propelling Adelson into the ranks of the mega-rich and underwriting his role as the largest Republican donor in the 2012 campaign, providing tens of millions of dollars to Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and other GOP causes.Summing it up, if Adelson’s Sands hadn’t done what it did (breaking the law), it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that there’s a reasonable chance that Adelson would never have been enabled to get what he got (along with his subsequent financing of a bevy of Republican candidates' campaigns for office over the past few election cycles, too).
Now, some of the methods Adelson used in Macau to save his company and help build a personal fortune estimated at $25 billion have come under expanding scrutiny by federal and Nevada investigators, according to people familiar with both inquiries.
Internal email and company documents, disclosed here for the first time, show that Adelson instructed a top executive to pay about $700,000 in legal fees to Leonel Alves, a Macau legislator whose firm was serving as an outside counsel to Las Vegas Sands.
The company's general counsel and an outside law firm warned that the arrangement could violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It is unknown whether Adelson was aware of these warnings. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act bars American companies from paying foreign officials to "affect or influence any act or decision" for business gain…
Many Kossacks covered this story in the thick of the 2012 election cycle, back when speculation was running rampant about what we now know — as of this weekend -- were Sheldon Adelson’s illegally gotten gains. Here’s a link to a great example of that effort in this community from fellow Kossack jimstaro, “Sheldon Adelson * Bribery Law * Possibly Much More.” (For those wanting more background on all of this, it’s a good read.)
Certain(ly) "to be continued..."