Sheldon Adelson

© Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

Lawyer: Las Vegas Sands Should Pay $347M

Lawyers for Sands Expected to Counter With Much Lower Offer

March 13, 2019 - 2:25 pm
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hundreds of millions of dollars will be at stake in a Nevada courtroom when attorneys for a Hong Kong businessman tell a jury on Wednesday that Las Vegas Sands owes him hundreds of millions of dollars for helping the company open its first resort in Macau 15 years ago.

Richard Suen argues in court papers that he and his business, Round Square Co., are due at least $328 million for introducing company executives to Chinese officials who were key for approving the project.

Sands puts the amount at $1 million, after losing two previous trials arguing that Suen should get nothing.

Opening statements from both sides in Las Vegas will outline the breach-of-contract case that Clark County District Court Judge Rob Bare has told jurors could take seven weeks.

Sands founder Sheldon Adelson isn't expected to testify for health reasons, but the jury is expected to see video-recorded prior testimony from the casino mogul.

The company has said the 85-year-old billionaire board chairman, CEO and Republican national party donor is receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and has not been at the company's Las Vegas offices for more than two months.

Suen has previously won awards of $44 million in 2008 and $70 million in 2013 after arguing that he was promised $5 million plus 2 percent of Sands' Macau profits for providing Sands executives with key introduction to Chinese officials.

After two appeals, the Nevada Supreme Court upheld findings that Suen and his company provided crucial services to Sands and the company is liable for damages.

But the justices ruled in 2016 that another trial was needed to set the amount of damages.

The jury's decision could be appealed yet again to the state high court.

Publicly traded Sands now owns the Venetian and Palazzo resorts and Sands Expo Center on the Las Vegas Strip, five casinos in Macau and one in Pennsylvania.