The US District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands has granted Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC and its owners a one week reprieve on a court order that would see the company placed into receivership if they do not comply with a consent judgement.
As previously reported by Inside Asian Gaming, IPI, its parent company IPI Holdings and Chairman Cui Li Jie had been given until last Friday 12 March 2021 to pay the balance of the 2019 consent judgement, totaling US$1,182,793, to the US Department of Labor, or be placed into the hands of Joyce Tang of Civille & Tang, PLLC as receiver. IPI is also required to deposit US$800,000 into an escrow account to secure future payment of wages and to pay any outstanding back wages owed to workers employed after the 2019 consent judgement was entered.
However, the court on Friday granted a one week extension to IPI and ordered Tang not to take any action around selling off IPI assets until 1.30pm on Friday 19 March after attorneys representing both parties requested a seven day stay to the effective date while negotiations continue to purge IPI and its owners of contempt.
Marianas Variety reported over the weekend that “All other terms and provisions of the order remain unchanged,” according to Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona.
Should IPI fail to comply by Friday, Tang will be granted the power to “take possession of the defendants’ property including all buildings, fixtures, improvements and appurtenances thereon, and personal and business property such as vehicles and equipment,” casting a further shadow over the future of IPI’s troubled Saipan integrated resort, Imperial Palace · Saipan.
Already facing serious financial woes, Imperial Palace · Saipan has also been closed for a full year now due to COVID, resulting in moves by IPI to avoid or delay payment of various obligations under its casino license agreement.
The company last year sought to abate its annual US$15.5 million license fee for 2020 and called for a reduction in its regulatory fee while fighting calls to have its casino license suspended and possibly even revoked.