- Legal States
Fiona Simmons November 21, 2022 3 min read
NMI Court Greenlit Sale of Imperial Palace Saipan Assets
After auctions in October, the US District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands (NMI) has greenlit the sale of Imperial Pacific International (IPI) casino assets. As agreed, Clear Management, which serves as the receiver, will auction equipment from Imperial Palace Saipan worth more than $410,000.
Imperial Palace Saipan Assets Got Auctioned
The Saipan operator did its best to delay this. It tried to postpone the sale by contacting lawyer Samuel Salyer and requesting a full report on the outstanding amounts of unsatisfied judgments against the operator before the sale was finalized.
However, the US District Court for the NMI opted to speed things up in spite of the operator’s protests. Last week, the court issued an order to Clear management, detailing the list of creditors it is aware of and confirming the sale of IPI equipment.
The auction saw participants from all over the world bid for the purchase of IPI casino assets. Parties from the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and Saipan participated in the auction, budding thousands of dollars for the equipment, which included chip sorters and card shufflers.
IPI Owes Big Debts
Throughout the past decade, Imperial Pacific International was found guilty of many regulation breaches. The operator violated numerous rules, unlawfully employed workers to build the casino and allegedly facilitated money laundering. As noted by Clear Management in a recent statement, there are currently 21 claims against IPI in many local and federal courts.
In 2019, the company was found guilty of mistreating its female workers, which added to its woes. That same year, the FBI raided IPI offices, seeking evidence for money laundering, wire fraud and other fraudulent activities.
A year later, IPI announced that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network was probing its business for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. In June 2020 the NMI Commonwealth Casino Commission sought to suspend the operator’s license for non-payment of money owed to a community benefit fund.
IPI’s casino in Saipan has remained closed since the beginning of the pandemic. Furthermore, in 2021, the company’s license was suspended in a move that was eventually approved by the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of the NMI. Despite everything, the company managed to keep the license.
As a result of the closure, equipment worth millions of dollars was left to deteriorate in a humid and unwelcoming environment. The US District Court for the NMI sought to auction equipment from the now-closed casino as a way to redeem the $2.1 million that the operator owes.
Clear Management was appointed to serve as a receiver and pay back $2.1 million to USA Fanter Corporation for construction work at the IPI property. However, IPI still owes much more money.