Sheldon Adelson Admits To Bribing Foreign Officials
In its annual regulatory report published by 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.
Adelson played a major role in the 2012 election, both in GOP primary by singularly keeping some candidates alive and in the general election by pumping millions into GOP campaign accounts. Of course in America, that’s not bribery. Giving roughly $155 million to various politicians is completely acceptable even when it clearly comes with strings attached.
As he maneuvered to enter Macau’s gambling market, Mr. Adelson, who is well known in the United States for his financial and political clout, became enmeshed in often intertwining political and business dealings. At one point he reportedly intervened on behalf of the Chinese government to help stall a House resolution condemning the country’s bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics on the basis of its human rights record.
But there was more than trying to stop symbolic activities in Congress. Adelson sought to – surprise, surprise – use his influence in Congress to change to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Adelson allegedly lobbyed for the changes to the law in a private meeting with Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor.
Though it is difficult to think of changes to the law that would allow the behavior Adelson and co. admit to engaging in. The bribes paid went beyond typical pay to play corruption as it seems Adelson has developed a substantive relationship with the Chinese mafia. Adelson’s company held “junkets” for high stake gamblers employing companies to transport the gamblers to the island. Among those getting Adelson patronage was Chinese gangster Cheung Chi Tai.
Among the junket companies under scrutiny is a concern that records show was financed by Cheung Chi Tai, a Hong Kong businessman.
Cheung was named in a 1992 U.S. Senate report as a leader of a Chinese organized crime gang, or triad. A casino in Macau owned by Las Vegas Sands granted tens of millions of dollars in credit to a junket backed by Cheung, documents show.
So Adelson has now admitted to using bribery to build his mobbed up casino empire from which he takes some of his earnings and funnels them into American politician’s pockets in hopes of making his corruption legal.
Photo by Bectrigger under Creative Commons license.