Asian misconduct sees Sands pay $7 million DOJ fine

Asian misconduct sees Sands pay $7 million DOJ fine

Monday, January 23, 2017 Posted by Andy McCarron
Compliance and auditing failures prove costly

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged Las Vegas Sands Corp a fine of $6.95m in relation to compliance and auditing failures for payments/transactions carried out to business associates of its China and Macao properties.

Seeking closure on the matter, Sands governance has pleaded guilty to charges of improper ‘Internal accounting controls’ as the casino operator failed to legitimize payments made to Asian ‘consultants’ on the firms audited records/books.

Furthermore, the DOJ claims that Sands continued to carry out the improper transactions after being warned of breaches of compliance by its auditor.

A review of Sands Asian transactions between 2006-2009 found that the company had paid out circa $5.8 million in fees to consultants without recording ‘any discernible legitimate business purpose’.

Moving the charges forward, Sands governance has settled with the DOJ on a ‘non-prosecution agreement’ with the firm continuing to aid the authority on its investigation and agreeing to pay the a reduced $6.95 million fine.

Updating investors, Sands governance details that it will now push for a review of internal compliance procedures in relation to its accounting and auditing operations. Furthermore, the company stated that it no longer employs any individuals or consultants attached to the matter.

Totally Gaming says: This will be an embarrassing chapter for Sands governance both in its US and Asian operations. Following a crackdown on Macao money-laundering and corruption practices by the Chinese government, Sands should act quickly to fix any compliance issues within it organisation, or risk further costly fines and penalties.

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