Second investor lawsuit alleges mismanagement by Sands leaders


Leaders of Las Vegas Sands Corp. are once again being hauled into court by investors upset by the implosion in value of the company's shares.

The latest lawsuit, filed Jan. 16 by investor Caleb Hartmann, accuses Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Adelson, President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Weidner and other Sands leaders of "grossly imprudent risk-taking in, spreading the company too thin with numerous and simultaneous casino construction projects" in Las Vegas and Asia.

In November, two other investors sued Sands directors, alleging the company was "woefully mismanaged by senior management," resulting in dramatic share value declines.

Both the November lawsuit and the one this month were filed in Clark County District Court.

The latter seeks in restitution the "disgorgement of all profits, benefits or other compensation" from Adelson, Weidner and several other directors.

The lawsuit details a chain of events beginning around November 2007, when Sands shares were trading at $125 each and culminating in November 2008, when the company disclosed a "cash crunch" that forced it to halt construction projects in China and lay off about 11,000 workers. By then shares were trading below $7 each.

Hartmann is being represented by the law offices of Marc Henzel. The firm specializes in shareholder actions.

Its Web site seeks contact with shareholders of myriad companies, including Las Vegas Sands, which is on a list of companies it has "under review."

Neither Las Vegas Sands nor plaintiffs lawyers would comment on the Hartmann case.

In addition to Adelson and Weidner, defendants in the Hartmann lawsuit include directors Irwin Chafetz, Charles Forman, George Koo, Michael Leven, James Purcell and Irwin Siegel.

Las Vegas Sands owns The Venetian and Palazzo resorts and Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, as well as the Sands and a Venetian in Macau and Marina Bay Sands under development in Singapore.

Shares of Las Vegas Sands rose 40 cents, or 7.07 percent, to close at $6.06 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861.

 

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