NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Las Vegas Sands fell in premarket trading Monday as the casino operator defended itself against claims that it violated a federal law that prohibits bribing foreign officials.
The company said in a filing Friday that the Securities and Exchange Commission asked two years ago for records relating to compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Las Vegas Sands, which is controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, said that after it got the SEC subpoena on Feb. 9, 2011, the audit committee of the board of directors opened an investigation.
In its annual report, filed Friday with the SEC, the company said that the audit committee "reached certain preliminary findings, including that there were likely violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions" of the anti-bribery law.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. said that based on information from the audit committee and its lawyers, it expects that the findings will not have a material financial impact or force restatement of past financial results.
The company said that it had improved its record-keeping and internal-controls practices in recent years, and added that the audit committee's investigation was continuing.
Late Sunday night, the casino operator issued a statement maintaining that it did not report any violations of the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA, and took issue with news reports stating otherwise. Las Vegas Sands said that it would "vigorously defend" itself against what it called "uninformed and misleading reporting."
The company's stock dropped 68 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $50.63 before the market open Monday.