Investor Dodges Sanctions Over Nixed Las Vegas Sands Suit

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By Che Odom

Jan. 29 — A federal court Jan. 27 denied a request by directors and officers of Las Vegas Sands Corp. that a shareholder and his attorneys be sanctioned and ordered to pay attorneys' fees after their complaint alleging securities violations was dismissed a second time.

Judge James C. Mahan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada ruled that shareholder W.A. Sokolowski and his attorneys complied with the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11(b), which relates to representations to the court. Mahan also found that Sokolowski's claims were presented for proper purposes and warranted by law.

Although the complaints were dismissed on the same grounds , the defendants were mistaken in arguing that the filings were identical, the court continued. Instead, the amended complaint was a good-faith effort to fix deficiencies, though it used vague and conclusory statements, the court said.

Bribery and Kickback ‘Scheme.'

Sokolowski sued under federal and state securities laws, accusing management of misrepresenting the casino-and-hotel company's internal controls to allow a “widespread scheme of overseas bribery, kickbacks, money laundering and other wrongful behavior,” according to his complaint.

His initial January 2014 complaint was dismissed, in part for not demonstrating that he had held stock in the company during the relevant period.

His attorneys filed an amended complaint in August 2014, which “did attempt to set forth new factual allegations demonstrating continuity of ownership from the time of some of the factual allegations to initiation of the present litigation,” the judge ruled.

Las Vegas Sands is headed by its 82-year-old chairman, chief executive officer and founder Sheldon Gary Adelson, a named defendant.

To contact the reporter on this story: Che Odom in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Yin Wilczek at