Steve Jacobs, terminated in July, is suing his former employer

Former Sands China CEO Steve Jacobs is suing his former employer in a Las Vegas court, claiming he was fired over disputes with management of parent company Las Vegas Sands that included his refusal to engage in alleged improper and illegal activities.

Jacobs, who was hired in May 2009 as head of LVS’ Macau casinos and hotels, was terminated in July, he claims, after a series of disputes with LVS Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson involving the company’s position in the lucrative Chinese gambling enclave.

According to a report on the lawsuit in the Las Vegas Sun, the conflicts centered on Adelson’s demands that Jacobs use improper “leverage” in negotiations with Macau government officials and Chinese banks over a Four Seasons hotel residential development and orders from Adelson that Jacobs organize investigations of Macau officials aimed at gathering “negative information” that could be used to further the company’s interests.

The suit also claims Jacobs disagreed with Adelson’s desire to aggressively grow the Macau junket business, claiming that it entailed low margins and was risky from a credit perspective and could involve the company in associations with organized crime figures in China.

The lawsuit alleges breach of contract, tortuous discharge in violation of public policy and other counts and seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Las Vegas Sands said Jacobs was fired for various causes, including exceeding his authority and failing to keep the board of directors informed. The company has not responded publicly to the lawsuit, according to the Sun. But a spokeswoman for Sands China denied the allegations in a report carried by Bloomberg.