Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sheldon Adelson, Gov. Brewer's Super-Contributor's Company Pays U.S. $47 Million To Settle Money-Laundering Investigation With Ties To Sinaloa Meth Cartel; Gave Brewer $250,000 For 2014 or 2016

(UPDATE, 2:20pm: The initial report on the Las Vegas Sands settlement utilized in this article was from The Daily Beast/Newsweek; there is also an article from the New York Times which fleshes out additional details.)

Last year, Arizona's Politics reported that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer collected $250,000 from "gaming billionaire and Republican Party mega-donor Sheldon Adelson" and his wife, for her eponymous Super PAC.  This week, Adelson and his gaming company, Las Vegas Sands Corp., are agreeing to pay $47 million to the U.S. government to settle a money-laundering investigation allegedly involving ties to the Sinaloa Cartel and its methamphetamine operation.

Jan PAC has more than $328,000 currently in the bank.  The October 19 Adelson contributions - easily the largest ever received by Governor Brewer - were not spent in the waning days of the 2012 campaign and make up the bulk of the current cash on hand.  Brewer can spend that money next year or in 2016, with very few restrictions.

Of course, Sheldon Adelson's contribution to Jan PAC was only one small part of his political campaign last year; he spent more than $92 Million (almost exactly twice the amount of this week's settlement with the Obama Administration - hmmm) on Super PACs advocating for Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and other Republicans.

The money laundering investigation apparently had found that a Chinese "businessman" with a home in Mexico and alleged ties to the Sinaloa Cartel would transfer large amounts of money to the Venetian casino (and other related offices), gamble and then return to Mexico with huge amounts of cash (the stacks found in a 2008 raid had Venetian wrappers).  Potential drug trafficking charges against the businessman in the U.S. were dismissed; they are still pending in Mexico.

Arizona's Politics has asked the Governor's Office for comment on the Adelson report, and on whether the Governor believes that she needs to take some action with the Adelson super-contribution.  Previous efforts to ask questions about Jan PAC have been directed to Robert Hockensmith, the only person (other than the Governor) publicly associated with Jan PAC. Those efforts went unanswered.

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

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