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Peter H. Stone, Investigative Reporter, Huffington Post
BY IAN MYLCHREEST -- Las Vegas Sands is facing increased pressure to settle accusations that it laundered money received by two high-rollers. According to Huffington Post reporter Peter Stone, a District Attorney in Los Angeles has convened a grand jury on the matter.
The government had reportedly been investigating two high-rollers at the Las Vegas casinos. One was jailed for taking kickbacks from suppliers when he was a senior buying executive at Fry’s Electronics, Inc., and the other was a Chinese-born Mexican official who had been charged with trafficking an ingredient used to manufacture methamphetamine. In both cases, the government is investigating whether Sands knew what it should have known about the sources of its customers’ money.
Casinos, like banks, have been required for the last decade to file “suspicious activity reports” with the federal government when they have reason to believe that cash is being deposited with them.
“A grand jury could represent an escalation here in the investigation,” says Stone. “Grand juries are often used by prosecutors to compel testimony from witnesses or targets and to subpoena records.” They can also be used to ratchet up pressure on companies to settle and that could be the case here, according to Stone. Sands had reportedly been negotiating a settlement with prosecutors last fall.
Las Vegas Sands, said Stone, apparently had little or no knowledge of the source of their customers’ funds. At the moment they’re only suspicions.