Sheldon Adelson Cannot Testify Due to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Sheldon Adelson Cancer Battle - Las Vegas Sands Lawsuit

Sheldon Adelson and Richard Suen have been locked in a legal battle since 2004.

The health of Sheldon Adelson, who is undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, is so dire that he cannot give testimony in an upcoming court case, according to Adelson lawyer James Jimmerson. The billionaire casino mogul’s attorney said Adelson has not been coming to his office since the third week of December, when his cancer treatments made it impossible for the 85-year old executive to work.

James Jimmerson’s comments were made in the court of Nevada District Court Judge Rob Bare, where Sheldon Adelson is being sued by Richard Suen. Mr. Suen is a consultant who helped Las Vegas Sands Corp. win a license to operate in Macau, a decision which changed the trajectory of the casino company Sheldon Adelson founded.

In a court proceeding on Monday, Jimmerson said, “It wasn’t until January 15 that I learned of the dire nature of Mr. Adelson’s condition…health.”

Richard Suen’s attorneys have pressed for Sheldon Adelson to testify, but Judge Bare said he would give the LVS chief executive a medical exemption so long as Adelson’s doctor provided sworn testimony that Adelson could not give testimony by the end of Thursday.

The news fueled speculation that Sheldon Adelson had not been able to fulfill his duties at Las Vegas Sands for more than two months. The rumors caused the company to issue a press release on Thursday which said, “Mr. Adelson continues to fulfill his obligations as chairman and CEO.”

Sheldon Adelson Missed January Conference Call

While Suen’s lawyers might think the dire reports are a legal trick, evidence exists that Sheldon Adelson has been sick for more than a month at least. Adelson, who is known for making all conference calls with shareholders and reporters, did not attend a January 23 conference call.

At the time, LVS President Rob Goldstein said that his boss could not attend because he was “a little bit under the weather.”

Follow-up question elicited this response from Goldstein: “He’s taking some medications that make him a bit drowsy. So, he decided this morning to take a rain check on this one.”

Las Vegas Sands and Sheldon Adelson

Las Vegas Sands is the largest casino company in the world. Besides its Las Vegas Strip holdings, LVS’s tremendous success comes the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and Venetian Macau in China. The $8 billion Marina Bay Sands recently was named the most lucrative casino in the world, while Venetian Macau has long been the top casino in Macau, the world’s leading casino destination city.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Sheldon Adelson is worth $33.8 billion, which makes him the richest casino mogul in the world and one of America’s richest billionaires.

The Adelson family owns 55% of Las Vegas Sands shares. Miriam Adelson’s son-in-law, Patrick Dumon, is the chief financial officer of the company. Rob Goldstein has been with the company since 1995 and has a contract which runs through 2024.

Adelson’s Political Contributions

Since his meteoric rise up the billionaire chart, Adelson has become the top contributor to the Republican Party. The LVS executive donated $90 million or more to the GOP in the 2012 and 2016 campaigns, while $122.3 million to conservative causes in the 2018 midterm elections.

Sheldon Adelson also has had a tremendous impact in Israeli politics, enough so that Iranian hackers targeted Las Vegas Sands in a cyber-attack. Ten years ago, Adelson bought Haaretz, a leading Israeli conservative newspaper and a supporter of the Likud Party. By making Haaretz free, it became the Israeli newspaper with the widest circulation. Adelson is a personal friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Adelson also is friends with President Donald Trump, who in late 2018 presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Miriam Adelson, the wife of Sheldon. Miriam Adelson, a former nurse, opened a Las Vegas hospital in the mid-1990s. She was honored for her philanthropy.

Richard Suen Lawsuit

Richard Suen sued Sheldon Adelson in 2004, claiming he was owed a $5 million consulting fee and 2% of the Sands China’s future profits. In 2008, Suen won a Las Vegas suit against Adelson for $59 million. That ruling later was reversed by the Nevada Supreme Court.

Mr. Suen won a second ruling in 2013, this time for $70 million in damages and $31 million in interest. The Nevada Supreme Court once again overturned that ruling, claiming Suen did not have the evidence to support such a ruling. With that decision, the lawsuits continue to this day.