Can I Get a Witness? Adelson Heading Back to Court in Breach Case

Posted on: March 9, 2013, 02:30h. 

Last updated on: March 9, 2013, 02:41h.

Forget all the TV shows about what goes on in Vegas casinos; they need to make a series about what goes on behind the scenes. The drama is unending; take the case of one-time Las Vegas Sands Corp. consultant Richard Suen, who is coming back to court in April with Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson already served to appear as the defense’s lead witness.

Served with Bodyguards

Adelson, who perhaps understandably goes everywhere with bodyguards, was apparently served papers by a process server when he emerged from another deposition on September 6 of last year. Actually, it turns out the subpoena was really handed to his attorney, who was of course with him in court; that’s the power of having a good attorney.

Breach of Contract Alleged

It all dates back to Suen’s allegations that he was responsible for Sands’ now very lucrative entrée into the Macau gaming market back in 2004.  He claims to have arranged meetings with key Chinese government officials that paved the way for the deal (we can just see Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn shaking his head in disgust here). In fact, former Sands president Bill Weidner brought Suen on in 2001 for a $5 million fee, plus 2% of any casino revenue if his “work,” (i.e., connections) led to securing a gaming license. See, that’s what we like about Asian politics: there’s none of this Victorian coyness about political bribes or any of that silly rot.

Looks like the issue is how you define “work;” Las Vegas Sands later contended that Suen never actually did any. In a nearly month-long trial back in 2008, Suen was awarded $43.8 million, so apparently the jury thought he did some anyway; that amount ended up being a cool $60 million once interest was tacked on.

However, that verdict was overturned in 2010 by the Nevada Supreme Court when it uncovered supposed errors by the trial judge. While some thought a settlement was ultimately reached, apparently not, as the case is now heading towards Round Two in that boxing ring known as Clark County District Court. The new trial date is set for April 3, following jury selection and allowing for the Sands CEO to keep his scheduled Passover trip to Israel from March 26 through April 2.

Can you say “jetlag”?