Las Vegas Sands Says Pricewaterhouse Resigns as Auditor
Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP resigned as auditor of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), the casino company that disclosed last month it probably violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Pricewaterhouse told the Las Vegas-based casino company on April 23 it won’t seek re-election, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. The company said there had been no reportable disagreements with Pricewaterhouse going back to 2011 and that it is seeking a replacement.
The exit follows the disclosure last month by Sands, the largest U.S.-based casino company, that an internal audit concluded there were “likely violations of the books and records and internal provisions” of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The company said then it had improved its practices with respect to books and records and is cooperating with all investigations.
The U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission have requested documents relating to Sands’ compliance with the law, which prohibits payments to foreign officials for favors, according to company filings.
Pricewaterhouse has been Sands’ auditor since it went public in 2004, and has worked for company founder Sheldon Adelson, 79, for 25 years, according to Ron Reese, a spokesman for the casino company.
The firm’s departure was “not the result of any non-public information that impacts past disclosures or is anticipated to impact future disclosures related to any of our reported litigations or investigations.”
Caroline Nolan, a spokeswoman for Pricewaterhouse, declined to comment.
Steve Jacobs, a former executive of the company’s Chinese unit, has said in Nevada state court filings that he was fired because he wouldn’t give in to “illegal demands” of Adelson -- who, Jacobs claimed, demanded he secretly investigate Macau officials and use “improper leverage” against them. Jacobs has sued the company for breach of contract.
Adelson, 17th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with an estimated net worth of $26.9 billion, has denied Jacobs’s claims.
Sands fell 1.6 percent to $56.17 yesterday New York. The shares have advanced 22 percent this year.
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