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Las Vegas Sands agrees to pay $9M penalty for FCPA violations

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said agreed to pay a $9million penalty to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt PracticesAct.

According to an April 7 statement, Las Vegas Sands failed to"properly authorize or document millions of dollars in payments" to aconsultant facilitating the company's business activities in China and Macau.

Additionally, the company has also agreed to retain an independentconsultant for two years to review its FCPA-related internal controls, recordkeepingand financial reporting policies and procedures and its ethics and compliance functions. 

An investigation by the SEC found that the company kept "inaccuratebooks and records, and frequently lacked supporting documentation or proper approvals"for over $62 million in payments to a consultant in Asia.

The SEC noted that the consultant acted as an intermediary to"obscure" Las Vegas Sands' role in certain business transactions, suchas the purchases of a basketball team and a building in China where casino gamblingis not permitted. 

Meanwhile, the company said in a separate same-day release thatthe SEC did not find any corrupt or intent on part of Las Vegas Sands in its investigation,which has been closed after more than five years.

"The company neither admitted nor denied any of the SECfindings," Las Vegas Sands noted.

The company added that the investigation also shows that allegationsmade against it in a lawsuitfiled by a former executive, Steve Jacobs, were unrelated to the SEC probe. Accordingto the company, the SEC findings were primarily related to projects that startedin 2006.

"The projects were orchestrated through a consultant whoseactivities under a former company president and other former employees were notsufficiently monitored," the company added.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson saidin a statement that the company is "pleased to have the matter resolved."