| SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 14
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 14 Las Vegas Sands
deceived a Nevada court in an attempt to stall a lawsuit by the
former head of its Macau operations, a state judge ruled on
Friday, fining the casino operator and abridging its right to
object in a fight over key evidence.
The ruling gives former Sands China Chief
Executive Steve Jacobs new room to pursue his wrongful
termination case, which has become a public fight over the
leadership and business methods used by Sands Chief Executive
Adelson is a prominent Republican Party donor, as well as
one of the richest men in the world, who led U.S. casinos into
Macau, a gambling market which dwarfs Las Vegas.
Jacobs contends Adelson directed him to investigate
officials in the Chinese gambling haven for information to use
against them and that Adelson told him to hire a Macau
government official in a potential conflict of U.S. anti-bribery
The U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange
Commission and Nevada casino regulators have all launched
investigations in the wake of Jacobs' charges.
Sands has denied Jacobs' claims and says the former
executive exceeded his authority and conducted "improper acts"
before he was fired in 2010, the year after he was hired.
At issue are emails and other electronic data sought by
Jacobs. Sands China, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Las Vegas Sands
Corp, told the court the data could not be removed from Macau
due to a local data protection law.
"The transferred data had already been copied; the copy
removed from Macau; and reviewed in Las Vegas by representatives
of Las Vegas Sands," District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez
wrote in a ruling published on Friday.
Sands' repeated inaccurate statements over several months
showed an intention to deceive the court, and the purpose
appeared to be to stall the discovery process, she wrote.
"The Defendants concealed the existence of the transferred
data from this Court," she concluded.
As punishment, she said the casino company could not use the
Macau data privacy law as a defense against producing documents,
a clear procedural win for the fired executive.
She also fined Sands $25,000 and some plaintiff's attorney
fees. The ruling came after three days of testimony this week.
Neither Sands nor Jacobs' attorney immediately responded to
a request for comment.