The Securities and Exchange Commission has closed its investigation of the Las Vegas Sands for its compliance with the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The SEC made no finding of corrupt intent or bribery by Las Vegas Sands. The company neither admitted nor denied any of the SEC findings. The administrative order from the SEC includes a $9 million civil monetary penalty under the internal controls and books and records provisions of the FCPA and an agreement to retain an independent compliance consultant for a period of two years.
Since its receipt of the February 9, 2011 subpoena from the SEC, the company has disclosed its belief that the investigation was a result of allegations made in an employment lawsuit filed by Steve Jacobs, a former executive who was employed by the company for only nine months.
Regardless of the origins of the subpoena, the SEC's comprehensive investigation, including the allegations made by Jacobs, is resolved via the commission's findings. Ultimately, not one of Jacobs' allegations was the basis for those findings.
The SEC findings were primarily related to projects which started in 2006 – a period long before Steve Jacobs' tenure began with the company or any of its subsidiaries. The projects were orchestrated through a consultant whose activities under a former company president and other former employees were not sufficiently monitored.
The SEC's conclusion was consistent with the preliminary findings of the company's audit committee, which were disclosed in the company's 2012 annual report.
"We are pleased to have the matter resolved. We are committed to having a world-class compliance program that builds on the strong policies we already have in place,” stated Las Vegas Sands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon G. Adelson.
Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: .