Imperial Pacific International (IPI) and its CEO have been found guilty of intentionally slowing the court-ordered payments to the former employees.
Chief Judge Ramona Manglona, of the US District Court for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) found IPI and CEO David Browne guilty of not complying to pay attorney’s fees of $93K in a timely manner.
Previously, seven construction workers sued IPI for unfair practices during their work at Imperial Palace Casino. The same judge ordered IPI to pay $93K to seven workers as the casino failed to produce case related documents repeatedly.
IPI was given a month’s time and then ordered interim payment as soon as money was available when they pleaded poverty. But IPI paid nothing. The company however continued to pay other payments.
The court decided to rake the issue on December 4. However, a week before that, IPI found $93K under the sofa and paid the full amount. Well, it may sound like a joke, but it isn’t.
The CNMI government has approved legislation to pursue legal actions against the VIP gamblers on the IPI Credit markets.
The IPI is known for extending direct credit to the International VIP gamblers. They come to Saipan, live on the hog of IPI, do whatever they wish to before returning back to Mainland China. The gambling debts are legally unenforceable there. This has resulted in losses of hundreds of millions in each of the past couple of years.
CNMI does get some US-based international VIP members as well.
The Senate Bill 21-75 would actually enable the Attorney General of CNMI to file liens against the gamblers with investments or businesses in the US Soli. SB 21-75 would further allow the government to claim 15% of any casino debt collected via legal means. Previously, it was set at 10%.
The new bill would backdate the period in which the debts were collected. The bill is going to extend the debt period as far as 2016.
IPI owes the government tens of millions in unpaid license and regulatory fees. IPI does not look to pay any of the amounts. The government is now accessing all its options to recoup for the bad investment made.