Imperial Pacific International Fails to Comply With More Court Orders

Posted on: September 19, 2023, 07:42h. 

Last updated on: September 19, 2023, 12:28h.

The leadership of Imperial Pacific International (IPI) doesn’t appear to have any issues ignoring court orders. The company behind the failed Imperial Palace casino in Saipan has several outstanding judgments against it, and two claims indicate that it’s able to pay them.

The Frances Perkins Building of the Department of Labor offices in DC
The Frances Perkins Building of the Department of Labor offices in Washington, DC. The DOL is going after Imperial Pacific International again for not settling its court-ordered judgment. (Image: Getty Images)

IPI has a long history of ineptitude with its attempt to turn the Imperial Palace into a stop on any high-end gambler’s global tour. Almost as soon as it began a project to expand the casino several years ago, it ran into a number of regulatory and criminal investigations.

Since then, things haven’t gotten any better. IPI hasn’t been paying its bills to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) or even its legal teams. It has also ignored a court judgment involving the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which is now looking for the court’s assistance once again.

IPI MIA on DOL Bills

IPI came under fire in April 2019 for, among other things, not paying its workers. When it did pay them, many received pay that was below the legal minimum wage or weren’t compensated in line with their job titles or skills.

This eventually led a CNMI court judge to order IPI to pay $2.19 million to settle the case. This was to cover back wages of just over $1 million, a similar amount in damages, and another $174,893 in fines.

Almost two years later, after IPI got behind in its payments, the company was held in contempt of court. It then negotiated a new deal in its favor, something it has been able to repeatedly pull off in a CNMI courtroom.

This led to IPI agreeing to fulfill its obligations beginning in January 2022. However, like clockwork, it’s falling behind once again. It hasn’t delivered about $498K it was to pay in August and September.

Because it hasn’t paid, the DOL went back to court to enter a default claim. In the declaration, Charles Song, an attorney for the government agency, demands that IPI pay the full amount due in accordance with the terms of the previous judgment.

IPI has 15 days to pay the outstanding bills. If it doesn’t, according to Song, the DOL will sell assets that the company put up as collateral for the judgment. This includes Hopwood Middle School, which IPI has owned through its Green Estate Holdings affiliate.

Song explained that the outstanding balance is $1.53 million, but that there are interest fees and other costs associated with the judgment. He didn’t indicate what the DOL would do with the school, which serves as many as around 900 students.

Kan Still Can’t Get Paid

In another case as old as the Imperial Palace itself, IPI still owes Kan Pacific Saipan, the company it pushed out in order to take over Saipan’s gaming scene.

Kan Pacific, according to the Saipan Tribune, has filed a breach of contract complaint against IPI over lack of payments. This is despite a court-ordered judgment against the company.

When IPI was moving to control Saipan, it struck a deal with Kan Pacific that saw the latter leave the local gaming space in exchange for money. Since then, IPI has failed numerous times to make the $400K annual payments.

Kan received the payments in the first three years, from 2017 to 2019, but IPI then refused to pay more. The agreement called for a total consideration of $5 million, which would be paid in even increments for 20 years.

Last December, a CNMI court told IPI to give Kan Pacific $697,801.30, as well as interest. IPI never did, and it then missed the annual payment that was due this past June.

Kan Pacific has tried to become part of the growing receivership that is leading to Imperial Palace assets being cannibalized to pay off its bills. IPI has rejected the attempt, but it might be for the better. The line for compensation is long, and there may not be any assets left once IPI settles all of its other outstanding debt.