Published on: November 24, 2022, 11:35 am.
Last updated: November 24, 2022, 11:49 am.
Saipan’s exclusive but failed casino operator Imperial Pacific International (IPI) has assured the government and the judiciary that it is now able to manage its affairs responsibly. The courts don’t see it, they find themselves once again in default of one of their many outstanding rulings.
IPI still owes USA Fanter Corporation $200,000 for breach of contract, according to Chief Judge Ramona Manglona. The operator of the Imperial Palace has failed to continue paying the outstanding construction equipment leases and contracts it has with the company.
In an effort to convince everyone that it is meeting its obligations, IPI recently paid some of its outstanding bills. He used this as an attempt to keep the courts and the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) at bay, but missed the mark.
IPI is no closer to being legit
IPI and Fanter have been involved in several lawsuits over the past two years. The operator did not manage his payroll properly and did not cover material costs as specified in the contracts with the company.
The Marianas variety reports that, as a result of ongoing issues, IPI is in default, according to Manglona. Therefore, the judge finds that the sanctions are in order.
In his response, Manglona pointed out that the case has been active for more than a year and that IPI has shown “no good faith” in resolving its issues. She reiterated that the operator should be held in contempt of court and rejected a motion by IPI to stay any sentence against him.
Fanter tried to collect more than $2 million in back payments from IPI, for which he received only about $300,000. This is on top of the more than $100 million it owes the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for licensing and other fees.
Apparently, IPI can no longer convince lawyers to work for him either, which will only make his situation worse. Manglona said in his ruling that the company does not have a lawyer to defend itself.
Fanter’s lawsuit is one of 22 IPI court battles. Seemingly short of cash to pay its bills despite claims of an investment to take place last year, more support is arriving for the ongoing receivership.
The Saipan Tribune indicates that a former employee, Joshua Gray, has asked to join. He is suing IPI for unfair dismissal. In addition, the CNMI also requested a place.
There is also a long list of creditors who have outstanding bills from IPI, according to the court-appointed receiver, Clear Management Ltd. The claims range from about $10,000 to $10 million, not including what they are seeking CNMI.
Earlier this year, IPI said it was close to finalizing a deal to receive $150 million in funding. However, that money never materialized and the company is now back to square one.
IPI told the CCC in a meeting yesterday that it is looking for an investor. He didn’t say how much money he might get or if he had concrete leads, saying only that he needed to “identify the investor first.”
Should it find an investor, IPI is confident it can get Imperial Palace up and running. However, CCC President Edward C. Deleon Guerrero does not share that sentiment.
With so many entities joining the Judiciary, nothing will remain but an empty shell where the Imperial Palace once stood. Clear Management sells all equipment through a series of auctions, which have already proven to be very successful.