Sheldon Adelson, the wealthy casino magnate and Republican campaign financier, instructed a top executive to pay $700,000 in legal fees to a Macau legislator whose firm served as outside counsel to Las Vegas Sands, according to a ProPublica-Frontline report published on Monday.
The issue, according to the report, is that the company's general counsel and an outside law firm warned that the arrangement could violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It is unknown whether Adelson was aware of the warnings, ProPublica writes. The FCPA bars American companies from paying foreign officials, in this case Lionel Alves, to affect or influence decisions for business gain.
Investigators are looking at whether the payments violate the statute because of Alves' government and political roles in Macau, people familiar with the inquiry told ProPublica.
In June, Adelson gave $10 million to the super PAC backing Mitt Romney. Adelson and his family also gave $21 million to the super PAC backing Newt Gingrich. And he gave $5 million to the Young Guns super PAC, which has ties to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Read the full report here.