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Las Vegas employment suit draws attention from federal agencies

As a city that is home to many corporations with international presences, Las Vegas has its share of high-stakes, acrimonious international business disputes. If the parties involved choose to take legal action against one another, it can lead to years of complex civil litigation claims, and these proceedings can require the disclosure of various kinds of evidence. Sometimes these include confidential business communications regarding strategies and financial information, which can draw unwanted attention from federal agencies.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department are currently investigating whether the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act may be applicable to the evidence that is emerging from an employment suit filed by a former Las Vegas Sands executive. Reports do not indicate whether these agencies are currently pursuing any legal action against either the executive or the company.

The plaintiff, who was the Sands China chief until mid-2010, claims that the company forced him to engage in illegal activity on Macau. Sands’ counterclaim accuses the executive of involvement with Chinese organized crime and extortion. As this litigation progressed, Sands was sanctioned because it did not produce a hard drive containing relevant evidence; the company asserted that they could not provide it because was covered by Macau’s Personal Data Protection Act.

Lawsuits can sometimes grow larger than plaintiffs intended. If a suit results in the discovery of evidence that invites federal fraud investigations, they can complicate international business litigation issues a great deal even the agencies’ suspicions prove groundless. Business owners and executives who are concerned about such matters may wish to speak with an attorney to determine their best course of action.

Source: Las Vegas Sun, “Court says Las Vegas Sands can keep documents secret,” Feb. 27, 2014

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