Legal battle over fired Las Vegas Sands Macau head moves to federal court

Former Sands China executive Steven Jacobs has expanded the legal battle over his 2010 termination by filing a new lawsuit in federal court.

Jacobs, head of Sands operations in China for about nine months before he was fired in July 2010, filed the new case Jan. 29 against Venetian Macau Ltd.

A separate but related lawsuit has been pending in Clark County District Court for more than five years against Sands China Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. According to the complaint in the federal case, which has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon, Las Vegas Sands “has attempted to shift liability” in that case on to Venetian Macau.

“Because LVSC has sought to avoid its obligations and wrongdoing by pointing the finger at VML, Jacobs brings this action,” according to the new lawsuit.

Jacobs, who lives in Florida, briefly added Venetian Macau as a defendant in the state court case last year. According to his federal lawsuit, Venetian Macau “purports to be an indirect operating subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corp.”

“This is a procedural sleight of hand which simply repackages the same suit they dismissed in state court,” Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese said in an email Monday. “Venetian Macau Ltd. will address it in federal court.”

Sands China is a Cayman Islands corporation that is 70 percent owned by Las Vegas Sands. Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, also is a defendant in the state court case.

Adelson’s family purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Dec. 10 through its Delaware-domiciled News + Media Capital Group.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at or 702-384-8710. Find her on Twitter: @CarriGeer

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