Embattled casino operator Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has been granted an additional four days to avoid being placed into receivership by either reaching an agreement with the US Department of Labor or pay all money owed under a consent judgement.
Under the second extension to the original 12 March deadline, the US District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands has given IPI until this Tuesday 23 March to comply and ordered Joyce Tang of Civille & Tang, PLLC not to initiate the sale of any IPI assets.
Tang was appointed receiver earlier this month in advance of IPI being placed into receivership but has yet to be given the green light to proceed with any related duties such as selling off company assets.
As previously reported by Inside Asian Gaming, IPI, its parent company IPI Holdings and Chairman Cui Li Jie have been ordered 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 Tang 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 granted a one week extension to IPI on 12 March, followed by this latest four day extension on 19 March upon request of all parties. According to the Saipan Tribune, the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour investigators are still examining documents provided by IPI to determine the full amount of wages due to unpaid workers. The Department and IPI have also been continuing with negotiations to purge IPI and its owners of contempt.
Should no agreement be reached and IPI fails to comply, 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.