Las Vegas Sands Owner Dodges Securities Suit

LAS VEGAS (CN) – There is no evidence Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson misled investors about the casinos’ fiscal health during the Great Recession, a federal judge ruled in a securities class action.

U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon on Tuesday dismissed class claims against Adelson, Las Vegas Sands and former Sands COO William P. Wiedener, and the court closed the case Wednesday.

Filed in 2010 by lead plaintiff Frank J. Fosbre Jr., the class cited an Aug. 29, 2008, Bloomberg article that reported “Adelson and other Las Vegas Sands executives dismissed concerns that a slowing economy or restrictions on visitors to Macau would impact Macau’s result” on Las Vegas Sands share prices.

Fosbre said the article showed Adelson misled investors so that Las Vegas Sands would not have to file for bankruptcy during the Great Recession.

He said Adelson and other Sands executives made investors think the company was in better financial shape from Aug. 2, 2007, through Nov. 5, 2008, when Las Vegas Sands was developing its Macau gaming operations.

The article, however, does not say what Fosbre claims, Gordon wrote in his ruling.

Gordon said “it is unclear” why Fosbre cited the Bloomberg article “when simply reading it would show it did not contain the alleged misrepresentation.”

Fosbre filed an amended class action in 2010, and only cited the Bloomberg article as evidence of Adelson misleading investors, Gordon wrote.

Adelson filed a motion for summary judgment and to dismiss all claims based on the Bloomberg article.

In Fosbre’s reply to the motion, he referenced a Las Vegas Review Journal article in which Adelson is quoted saying “our entire strategy avoids the possibility of an economic slowdown, recession,” Gordon wrote.

Gordon said discovery in the matter closed long ago, and it’s too late for Fosbre to try to enter new evidence into the case through motions.

Fosbre “led both this court and defendants to believe the alleged misrepresentation was in the Bloomberg article,” Gordon wrote.

He said if he let Fosbre suddenly enter new evidence, Adelson would be prejudiced because discovery closed years ago.

Fosbre “was not diligent” in amending the complaint when he had “ample opportunity” to do so, Gordon wrote, and said there are no remaining claims in the matter.

The Bloomberg article cited by Fosbre does not contain the alleged misrepresentation, and Adelson and the others are entitled to summary judgment, Gordon wrote.

Gordon notified both parties of the rules for appeal, and closed the case on Wednesday.

 

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