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Las Vegas Sands gets SEC subpoena

Updated Tuesday, March 1, 2011 | 8:49 a.m.

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Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. stock was down 4 percent this morning after the company disclosed it's being investigated for its compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The company said that on Feb. 9 it received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission requesting that the company produce documents relating to its compliance with the anti-bribery act.

"The company has also been advised by the Department of Justice that it is conducting a similar investigation," Las Vegas Sands said in its annual report.

"The company intends to cooperate with the investigations," Las Vegas Sands said.

Its unknown if gaming regulators in Nevada, Pennsylvania, China and Singapore -- where Sands does business -- are also looking into its compliance with the act. Today's announcement will likely be of interest to them.

The company said it believes the SEC subpoena "emanated" from a lawsuit filed against it last year in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas by fired Macau executive Steven Jacobs

Jacobs, who was fired for cause in July as CEO of Sands China Ltd., retaliated with the lawsuit charging he was terminated over disputes with Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson -- including Jacobs' resistance to Adelson's alleged demands that he engage in illegal activity.

Sands fired back in December, saying Jacobs was let go for working on unauthorized deals and multiple violations of company policy.

The Corrupt Practices Act outlaws bribes to foreign officials to obtain business in their nations.

As for the Jacobs' lawsuit, Sands commented today: "This action is in a preliminary stage. The company intends to vigorously defend this matter."

In their latest legal blast at Jacobs, filed in court Monday, attorneys for Las Vegas Sands called Jacobs: "a disgruntled former executive of a Macau company, Venetian Macau Limited, who was terminated by Venetian Macau Limited based upon a number of serious breaches of his fiduciary obligations."

In Monday's filing, Sands attorneys reiterated their argument that Jacobs improperly sued Las Vegas Sands in the United States and that any disputes between he and Venetian Macau -- a Sands subsidiary -- must be litigated in Macau.

Jacobs' position is that the U.S. court is the appropriate forum since Venetian Macau is controlled by Adelson from his Las Vegas offices.

Las Vegas Sands stock traded this morning at $44.74, down $1.90.

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