IPI seeking leniency after confirmation that it is unable to pay debt
One of the attorneys for Imperial Pacific International (IPI), Michael Dotts, has officially confirmed what everyone has been suspecting for a while.
The operator apparently does not have enough money to pay off the near $3 million order enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The casino operator is behind the long-postponed Imperial Palace in Saipan and is willing to work out a payment plan of some kind. IPI is currently asking for leniency and flexibility, however it seems like there is no more room for debate and leniency, judging based on what the courts have shown.
CNMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has already found IPI and its chair, Cui Li Jie, to be on the court’s bad side for not fulfilling its financial obligations. Just this past week, she recommended that if the company does not come up with the amount of money, she could put it in receivership, by selling the company’s assets to pay everyone off.
Dotts notified the court that “IPI lacks funds to make the deposit that the U.S. Department of Labor has requested” and wishes an installment plan would be discussed.
The company was expected pay $788,022.54 in the wages to its employees. This is aside from the $1.3 million in salaries and overtime pay that go all the way back to 2016 and 2017. It was also asked to set aside $800,000 to be put in an escrow account, to cover employee wages in case it backtracks again.
Few of the wages have been paid by now, but Dotts stated that one payroll, which was meant to be covered on January 29, was still incomplete and employees were left hanging. If IPI is unable to come up with the funds to succeed on a single pay period, it is unclear how it plans to stay updated with future payrolls all while it makes installment payments to pay off its current debt.
Aside from the fights over money with the DOJ and CNMI gaming regulators, who are both still expecting several million dollars, IPI has yet another issue to face. Xerox would like the court to issue a default judgment against the company for not managing its debt. It is seeking approximately $182,905 in damages, late fees and interest. It claims that these are covered in the service agreement which was signed by the two companies back in 2016.
Xerox already attempted to pressure IPI in December, serving it with a complaint and an official summons. According to the company, no one ever replied to the complaint and no legal action was taken in accordance with legal procedures. Xerox is asking IPI to give back all of the equipment it provided and pay its attorney’s fees and other similar costs.