Sacked casino boss adds defamation to case against Sands

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 March, 2011, 12:00am

The sacked former head of Las Vegas Sands' Macau casino is now suing billionaire owner Sheldon Adelson (pictured) for defamation as part of his ongoing court battle in the United States.

Former Sands China chief executive Steven Jacobs this week added the defamation claim to his breach of contract suit against Las Vegas Sands and Sands China in response to remarks Adelson made in the press.

After a judge in the Las Vegas Clark County court this week threw out Sands' motion to dismiss Jacobs' lawsuit, a spokesperson for the company e-mailed comments from Adelson to the Wall Street Journal.

Adelson was quoted as saying: 'We have a substantial list of reasons why Steve Jacobs was fired for cause and interestingly he has not refuted a single one of them. Instead, he has attempted to explain his termination by using outright lies and fabrications which seem to have their origins in delusion.'

Jacobs' amended complaint says the comments were 'defamation per se'.

He was fired by Sands in July last year. He alleges he was terminated 'without cause' and thus should be entitled to severance payments and stock options worth some US$10 million.

His suit says he was fired for resisting Adelson's 'outrageous demands' that he 'use improper 'leverage' against senior officials of Macau' in order to win favourable treatment for Sands' development plans.

Las Vegas Sands said last month it was being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice regarding its compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Reuters said the Federal Bureau of Investigation was also probing the matter.The company has denied all of Jacobs' allegations, saying he was fired 'with cause' and is therefore not entitled to any payments. Executives have said Sands China filed a criminal defamation action against Jacobs in a Macau court in January.