In a lengthy explainer on Monday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow illustrated how a risky bet and some seemingly shady dealings in China helped earn casino mogul Sheldon Adelson tens of billions of dollars, and possibly even some criminal charges.
Thanks to some internal documents from Adelson's company that have been leaked to the press by former top employees, it's beginning to look like a local government official in the Chinese territory of Macau got paid off to help Adelson's company win approval for its casino ventures.
Now, dueling probes of Adelson's company, Las Vegas Sands, are underway at the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. In short, it's not looking good for Adelson. If investigators can prove Las Vegas Sands bribed a foreign official, it would be a clear and massive violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits American companies from bribing foreign officials.
That could also pose a problem for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), who's become the beneficiary of Adelson's voluminous political giving after the failure of Adelson's former favorite candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA). As Maddow put it, Adelson isn't just any political donor, he's "the single largest American political donor of all time" -- and virtually all of his money has gone to Republicans.
This video is from MSNBC, broadcast Monday, July 16, 2012.