Sheldon Adelson’s Vegas Casinos Targeted in Money-Laundering Probe

US gaming tycoon Sheldon Adelson gestures during a press conference at the Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore on June 23, 2010. Photo: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

Billionaire Romney-backer Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas casino company, Las Vegas Sands Corp., is at the center of a year-long money laundering investigation, The Wall Street Journal reports. Federal authorities say Sands officials should have alerted the government to large deposits made by two of their sketchier high-rollers: Chinese-born Mexican impresario turned drug trafficker Zhenli Ye Gon transferred $85 million to Sands casinos, and California retail-chain executive Ausaf Umar Siddiqui (now serving jail-time for taking illegal kickbacks) sent in more than $100 million. While it doesn't seem that Adelson himself is being investigated, we can't imagine that his many Republican beneficiaries are very pleased with the Justice Department's timing on this one.