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April 20, 2014

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Las Vegas Sands settlement cancels trial over Macau interests

A trial in one of the lawsuits over Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s development activities in Macau was canceled after a settlement was reached this week.

Las Vegas Sands spokesman Ron Reese told the Associated Press that the settlement is confidential in the 2006 suit filed by Clive Bassett Jones, Dax Turok and Cliff Cheong.

In the Clark County District Court case, the plaintiffs asserted breach of an agreement for their work for Sands and to receive a success fee of 5 percent of the ownership interest in Sands' Macau gaming subconcession; and made related claims.

Settlement of the case leaves Las Vegas Sands attorneys handling at least two more pending cases over the company's expansion into Macau.

In a 2004 case, Richard Suen and Round Square Company Limited sued the company in Clark County District Court claiming they were due a success fee of $5 million and 2 percent of the net profit from Sands' Macau resort operations. In 2008, the plaintiffs won a jury verdict and later a judgment of $58.6 million, but Sands is appealing that case.

"The company believes that it has valid bases in law and fact to overturn or appeal the verdict. As a result, the company believes that the likelihood that the amount of the judgment will be affirmed is not probable, and, accordingly, that the amount of any loss cannot be reasonably estimated at this time," Sands said of the case in a May 11 regulatory filing.

And in 2007, Asian American Entertainment Corp, sued the company in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas alleging breach of an alleged agreement in which AAEC would work to obtain a gaming license in Macau and, if successful, would operate a casino with Las Vegas Sands in Macau.

A federal judge in 2007 dismissed the lawsuit, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has revived part of the suit and has sent the case back to the Las Vegas court for adjudication.

In a ruling in April, the appeals court held that AAEC's breach of fiduciary duty claims are barred by Nevada's three-year statute of limitations for such claims; but kept the case alive by ruling a six-year statute of limitation applies for some of AAEC's breach of contract claims.

"It is difficult to discern any claim during that period from the face of their complaint; however, management believes that the plaintiff’s case against the company is without merit. The company intends to defend this matter vigorously," Sands said of the case in the May regulatory filing.

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