At this point Imperial Pacific International (IPI) is practically beached at Saipan. The casino operator has ruined his Imperial Palace casino from the start and has never shown that he is willing to make any effort to get on the right track. Things are going from bad to worse, with a judge now giving the green light to remove physical assets from the Imperial Palace to cover the IPI’s unpaid debt to workers who sued the company for mistreatment and abuse. Soon there will be nothing left except, perhaps, a few lights and trash cans. This is the second property forfeiture order issued in two weeks.
Too much debt, no way to pay
Last May, Federal Judge Ramona Manglona of the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), someone who spent more time dealing with IPI than she likely would have liked, ruled in favor of seven former IPI employees who had sued slave labor conditions. There have been times, according to previous reports, when employees have been forced to live without electricity or water, and Judge Manglona has told the IPI to pay out $ 5.4 million to settle employee claims. Payment was not made according to the court order and the judge has now approved a seizure of the property to settle the claim.
Judge Manglona gave the US Marshals the power to confiscate the property of the IPI “including, but not limited to: (1) all computer hardware, furniture and equipment, motor vehicles and casino gaming machines identified in the “List of Assets” filed by IPI’s attorney on March 3, 2021, and (2) the two crystal dragons hanging in the IPI casino that are identified in the IPI of March 8 2021, filing another civil lawsuit involving IPI. Crystal dragons are amazing works of art and would look great in any living room, as long as they are big enough.
Imperial Palace a shell of his old self
Just over a week ago, IPI was ordered – also by Judge Manglona – to relinquish other assets. It was the result of the company’s non-payment of at least $ 2 million owed to a construction company, and IPI lost gaming machines, vehicles and more. The company still owes several million dollars to another construction company, Pacific Rim, and, unless something bad happens soon, more assets could also be seized to cover that debt.
The millions of dollars covered by the foreclosure of assets do not include the millions that the IPI owes the CNMI government. It hasn’t made the required license payments and is behind on other community support obligations, and it doesn’t look like it’s about to receive a multi-million dollar infusion. The IPI has already seen its Imperial Palace license suspended and the casino has been closed since March of last year due to COVID-19. At this point, anyone interested in operating a casino in Saipan can prepare the checkbook for when the entire property will finally, after years of embarrassment for the CNMI, be put up for auction.