Sands hit with $7 million DOJ ‘Asian compliance misconduct’ fine

US casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp (Sands) has confirmed that it will pay a $6.96 million penalty in order to resolve its ‘Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’ (FCPA) dispute in connection with business transactions carried out in China and Macao.

The penalty charge imposed on Sands relates to the company failing to implement appropriate ‘internal accounting controls’ ensuring the legitimacy of payments to Asian ‘consultants’ who assisted Sands operations in China and Macao.

US financial authorities further state that Sands governance failed to prevent ‘false recordings’ of the transactions on its books/records, with the firm continuing to make Asian payments despite warnings from its auditors.

Following hearings, Sands governance admitted that from 2006 through to 2009, the company had paid a total of $5.8 million fees Asian consultants without ‘any discernible legitimate business purpose’.

Seeking closure on its FCPA charges, Sands governance has agreed to enter into a ‘non-prosecution agreement’ in which it will continue to cooperate with US Department of Justice in relation to its misconduct.

Following a review of Sands internal compliance failures, the DOJ has set its Penalty charge at $6.96 million which reflects a reduction of 25% on applicable U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Updating stakeholders, Sands governance informed that the company no longer employs any individuals or consultants connected with its compliance misconduct and that the company will further add ‘extensive remedial measures’ to its financial auditing operations.

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