Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson denies Links to Organized Chinese Crime

Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson denies Links to Organized Chinese Crime

The crackdown on corruption in China continues, and suddenly Sheldon Adelson’s name is being thrown into the mix. The Las Vegas Sands CEO has made appearances in a Vegas courtroom to testify on allegations that his company is tied to Chinese organized crime.

Adelson’s testimony is part of a civil suit against him, launched by the former CEO of his Macau-based casinos, Steven Jacobs. According to Jacobs, he was wrongly dismissed from his job for not making bribe payments to Chinese officials.

This has opened up an entirely new line of questioning, including inquiries about Adelson’s knowledge of a Macau businessman and potential organized crime member named Ng Lap Seng. “I heard that he was a real estate developer or that he was the head of the real estate developers’ association or something,” said Adelson. “I know of nobody in the company who had dealings with Ng.”

Jacobs claims differently while alleging that Ng is part of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee and acted as a courier for the Sands Corporation. And Jacobs’ words may be backed up by evidence obtained through company emails. Here’s a look at how The Guardian describes these emails:

According to documents first revealed by the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley in 2012, an internal company email sent by Jacobs described Ng as having “delivered msg. from SGA” – Adelson’s initials. The email also identifies Ng as “Leonel’s contact with Beijing”, a reference to Leonel Alves, a Macau legislator and lawyer who was hired by Sands Macau.

As for Alves, Jacobs claims that he was instructed to make payments to the lawyer, who would in turn bribe Chinese officials on behalf of Macau casinos. Jacobs terminated the contract with Alves, before he himself was fired; Adelson then renewed the contract with Alves once his former Macau CEO was out of the picture.

Jacobs’ lawyer, James Pisanelli, is confident that all of this alludes to some link between Adelson and bribing Chinese government officials. “We believe that there are connections and relationships,” Pisanelli said. The lawyer also alleged that Adelson paid Alves so that he could influence officials to find solutions to his property and lawsuit issues.

The 81-year-old billionaire continues to deny all claims, though, and insists that he had nothing to do with bribing any officials or making payments for improper services.