Sheldon Adelson 370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
CHICAGO – The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee retracted
statements it made linking Las Vegas Sands chief executive Sheldon Adelson with
funds it said came from “Chinese prostitution money” that had been contributed
to Republican congressional candidates.
“In press statements issued on
June 29 and July 2, 2012, the DCCC made unsubstantiated allegations that
attacked Sheldon Adelson, a supporter of the opposing party,” the Democratic
committee said in a statement over the weekend.
“This was wrong. The
statements were untrue and unfair, and we retract them.”
came from a filing in the Nevada state court in which Steven Jacobs, the former
president of Sands China Ltd, alleged wrongful termination and asserted that he
had seen documents in which Adelson “personally approved” what he called “a
prostitution strategy” at the company’s casino operation in the Chinese special
administrative region of Macau.
In a July 16 letter to the DCCC,
attorneys for Adelson, 78, demanded that the committee retract the allegations
and apologize to Adelson.
On July 20, Adelson filed suit in a Florida
state court, claiming defamation against Jacobs and seeking unspecified damages
for statements that his suit said “impugn Mr. Adelson’s integrity and
harm his reputation.”
The billionaire businessman is a major contributor
to Republican candidates and is the largest individual donor to presumed
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He and his wife, Miriam,
contributed $10 million to a political action committee that backs Romney, and
he hosted a fund-raising breakfast for the candidate during his visit to Israel
District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez has scheduled an
August 30 hearing to decide whether Las Vegas Sands Corp. withheld financial
documents in the wrongful termination case brought by Jacobs.
The Wall Street Journal
reported on Saturday that Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands
Corp. is the target of a federal investigation into possible violations of US
money laundering laws.
The Los Angeles branch of the US Attorney’s Office
is looking into the casino company’s handling of the receipt of millions of
dollars from a Mexican businessman, later indicted in the United States for drug
trafficking, and a former California businessman, later convicted of taking
illegal kickbacks, the Journal
said, citing lawyers and others involved in the
The transactions date from the mid-2000s.
there are no indications that actions by Adelson, who is the company’s chief
executive officer and largest shareholder, are being investigated.
Los Angeles US attorney could not be reached for comment by Reuters. A Sands
spokesman was not immediately available to comment to Reuters, but spokesman Ron
Reese told the Journal,
“The company believes it has acted properly and has not
committed any wrongdoing.”
Reese said the company was cooperating with
The timing of the investigation could open the
Justice Department to criticism that it is politically motivated, the Journal