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Ohio casinos take lesson from Las Vegas Sands' $47.4M penalty

Ohio casino industry analysts were watching developments as the Las Vegas gambling giant Sands Corp. was ordered by the U.S. government to pay $47.4 million under a 10-day deadline to avoid prosecution. The business litigation fell onto the casino company after federal authorities said that it had failed to tell them that a suspected international drug smuggler was making suspicious deposits while gambling at its Venetian-Palazzo hotel and casino.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said that the casino was obligated to file Suspicious Activity Reports on the gambler, who the U.S. said was the largest all-cash, up-front-paying gambler that the Venetian-Palazzo had ever hosted at that point. The money that the casino had to pay to the government represented the amount of money that the alleged drug kingpin had sent to or through the casino. A 2007 raid of the gambler's Mexico City home yielded more than $200 million in U.S. currency. The alleged kingpin was indicted by the U.S. Attorney's Office before, but the case was later dismissed.

A casino is required to file a Suspicious Activity Report whenever the establishment knows, suspects or has reason to suspect that at least $5,000 deposited or transacted on its premises involves illegal activity or is being used to hide illegal activity. A casino is allowed 30 days after such activity to file a Suspicious Activity Report.

A breach of fiduciary duty can cost even the biggest companies more than they can afford to lose. An Ohio attorney experienced in working to prevent fraud or deceptive trade practices may be able to help during business litigation or other business disputes. A lawyer may also be of service in cases of alleged product liability, breach of contract and confidentiality agreement disputes. Source: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, "Suspicious Activity Reporting Guidance for Casinos," December 2003

Source: Courthouse News, "Vegas Sands must pay &47 Million to Uncle Sam", August 28, 2013

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