Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson spent an estimated $150 million last year in campaign contributions to help Mitt Romney and other Republicans around the country win elections. Now, in a new filing with the SEC, it turns out that’s not all Adelson spent money on:
In its annual regulatory report, filed with the commission on Friday, the Sands reported that its audit committee and independent accountants had determined that “there were likely violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions” of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The disclosure comes amid an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation into the company’s business activities in China.
It is the company’s first public acknowledgment of possible wrongdoing. Ron Reese, a spokesman for the Sands, declined to comment further.
This is the first admission of possible guilt by Adelson’s company in an investigation that goes back years. Adelson began a big push in China over a decade ago and that caught the eye of investigators.
But in 2010 something big happened. Steven C. Jacobs was fired from his job as President of the company’s operations in Macau. He then filed a wrongful termination suit, which alleges he was pressured to engage in improper leverage against foreign officials. In the same suit Jacobs also alleges that the company turned a blind eye to China’s organized crime.
The timing of all this is really interesting. Last year we had Adelson breaking the bank, spending millions to try and get Republicans elected up and down the ticket. We all know that was a horrible bet for the “king of the casinos”. And now that Adelson wagered and lost in a big way, we see his company admit to wrong doing.
So, did Adelson think that he could buy these offices and maybe make his problems go away? It sure sounds like that to me and it should be a serious question asked by all of us. I don’t think anyone wants to see our system become more corrupt than it already is.
Perhaps any GOP candidate or group that received money from Adelson should return that money now. That would be the right thing to do and then the GOP needs to distance themselves from Adelson as much as they can.