Gambling corp. says fired exec stole trade secrets

September 15, 2011 - 2:55 PM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A legal battle between Las Vegas Sands Corp. and the fired former chief executive of the company's Macau properties is bringing allegations of the theft of confidential company documents that might contain trade secrets and development information.

The corporate owner of the Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and casinos in the Chinese gambling enclave alleged in court documents filed Tuesday that Steven Jacobs stole and refused to return sensitive company materials.

Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez has scheduled an Oct. 18 hearing on a request by company lawyers to order Jacobs to return the materials. Trial is scheduled next June in Las Vegas.

"Jacobs was privy to a host of sensitive LVSC company information that, if revealed, could and would harm LVSC's business and gaming operations," the company said in court filings.

Jacobs oversaw the company's three casinos in Macau for more than a year before he was fired last summer. He has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the company and owner Sheldon Adelson.

Jacobs claims Adelson wanted him to use "improper leverage" against unnamed senior Macau government officials to help the company secure rights to sell apartments at its Four Seasons Macau. Jacobs also claims Adelson wanted him to employ a Macau attorney who held a government position.

Jacobs' attorney in Las Vegas, Donald Campbell, is withdrawing from the case, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/qknMRJ ).

Campbell didn't immediately respond Thursday to a message from The Associated Press. But he told the newspaper his withdrawal had nothing to do with the merits of the Jacobs lawsuit. He said he could not elaborate due to client confidentiality rules.

Campbell disputed the company's allegations that Jacobs stole privileged information and said the materials in question "came to him in his normal course of duty."

Campbell said Las Vegas attorney James Pisanelli is expected to take over the Jacobs lawsuit.

Pisanelli was on the legal team that won a $43.8 million verdict in a civil lawsuit against Las Vegas Sands by Hong Kong businessman Richard Suen in 2008. Suen claimed he helped the company win its Macau casino license.

The Nevada Supreme Court last November vacated the judgment and ordered a retrial.

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Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com