Sands China Ltd.’s secret investigation of Macau government officials, allegedly ordered by its Chairman Sheldon Adelson, is fair game in the feud between the billionaire and the casino operator’s former top executive.
Steven Jacobs, locked in a four-year battle with Adelson, today won the right to use a report on the probe in his wrongful-termination lawsuit. Jacobs contends he was ousted in 2010 as chief executive officer of the China unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp. because he clashed with Adelson over demands he collect information on Macau officials to exert “leverage” on them.
Jacobs claims the report by a Hong Kong risk consultant, and two others on alleged ties between Sands China associates and Chinese organized crime, will expose the company to “serious political and legal problems.” Sands argued that Jacobs “stole” the documents when he was fired, and that they should be legally off-limits for use in the lawsuit.
Nevada District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, at a hearing today in Las Vegas, ruled Jacobs can use the reports while ordering that they be treated as confidential information, meaning they may not become public. Sands had asked for them to be treated as highly confidential, meaning only attorneys and the judge could see them.