Las Vegas Sands Fires Back at Bribery Charges

Las Vegas Sands Corp, The Palazzo, Las Vegas.
Kris Ziel | Wikipedia
Las Vegas Sands Corp, The Palazzo, Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Sands is disputing reports out late Friday that it likely violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The casino operator is particularly upset with a New York Times headline that said "Casino Says It Likely Cheated," calling it uninformed and misleading reporting.

Media outlets reported that the casino company said in a 10-K disclosure filing Friday said it "likely" violated the FCPA, which outlaws the bribery of foreign officials, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday.

The reports stated that Las Vegas Sands, which is controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, said that after it received the SEC subpoena on Feb. 9, 2011, the audit committee of the board of directors opened an investigation.

But on Monday the company countered that its 10-K disclosure did not report any violations of the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA.

In a statement, Las Vegas Sands said its audit committee had only found "likely violations" of the books, records, and internal controls provisions of the FCPA. A potential violation could range anywhere from a single transaction recorded incorrectly to other errors in the accounting records.

Las Vegas Sands reported in January that fourth-quarter net income jumped more than 35 percent, helped greatly by booming business in Macau, the only place in China with legal gambling and a haven for high-rollers. Revenue in the company's Chinese subsidiary soared 48 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The company also operates the Venetian and Palazzo casinos in Las Vegas.