A Las Vegas judge began hearing testimony Monday to help her determine whether she has jurisdiction over Sands China Ltd. in a breach of contract case filed by Steven Jacobs, the former president of Sands Macau.
Jacobs sued Sands China and Las Vegas Sands Corp. in 2010, shortly after he was fired. He later added Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, as a defendant in the case.
“Jacobs was not terminated for cause,” according to an amended complaint filed in December. “He was terminated for blowing the whistle on improprieties and placing the interests of shareholders above those of Adelson.”
For example, the document accuses Adelson of demanding “that secret investigations be performed regarding the business and financial affairs of various high-ranking members of the Macau government so that any negative information obtained could be used to exert ‘leverage’ in order to thwart government regulations/initiatives viewed as adverse to LVSC’s interests.”
The amended complaint also includes a defamation claim against all the defendants.
“In an attempt to cover their tracks and distract from their improper activities, Adelson, LVSC and Sands China have waged a public relations campaign to smear and spread lies about Jacobs,” the document alleges.
The amended complaint argues that Clark County District Court has personal jurisdiction over the defendants and Jacobs’ claims.
According to the document, Sands China is a Cayman Islands corporation that is 70 percent owned by Las Vegas Sands, and Sands China is publicly traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
“While Sands China publicly holds itself out as being headquartered in Macau, its true headquarters are in Las Vegas, where all principle decisions are made and direction is given by executives acting for Sands China,” the document alleges.