HONG KONG Aug 10 U.S. authorities are
investigating Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd,
controlled by Las Vegas gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson, on
possible violations of anti-bribery regulations, the Wall Street
Journal said on Friday.
The U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange
Commission are investigating whether Sands China violated the
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Journal reported, citing
documents and sources.
The investigation comes after allegations made by the former
head of its Macau operations, Steve Jacobs, in a
wrongful-termination lawsuit. Jacobs was ousted after he
questioned the company's relationship with a politically
connected Macau lawyer, the paper said.
The U.S. government and the company itself are also
conducting investigations into at least three transactions in
China, the paper reported, citing documents from the audit
committee of the Sands board of directors.
The transactions include a $50 million payment for real
estate for the Adelson Center, a business development operation
that was never opened. Also under scrutiny is Sand's sponsorship
of a Chinese basketball team and a contract for ferry service
between Macau and Hong Kong, the paper said.
Sands China officials were not immediately available for
comment to Reuters.
Sands China's shares were down 1.77 percent in early trade
in Hong Kong, underperforming the main Hang Seng Index's
0.3 percent decline.
(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Matt Driskill)