IPI under fire once again as chair faces prison
The courts do not seem to be falling for the innocent victim persona that IPI (Imperial Pacific International) Chair Cui Li Jie’s legal team have made up for her.
Last month, Attorney Juan Lizama confessed to a judge that Cui does not have the capability to run the casino operator or supervise the business, even though everyone knows her as a millionaire entrepreneur. However, Chief Judge Ramona Manglona of the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) didn’t follow up. The judge is now asking Cui for an explanation on the reasons why she shouldn’t be fined and locked up for the various crimes committed.
As of late, IPI and its Chair have had endless issues, but this time concerns the problems with the construction contractor and workers. Seven different construction workers sued the company over allegations concerning alleged human trafficking and forced labour. Apparently, a warrant was issued to the Chair of the company last month but she never replied.
In a report by the Guam Daily Post, Bruce Berline, an attorney representing one of the seven construction workers, said that one of Cui’s associates had been trying to “intimidate the process server” and going as far as to threaten “legal trouble” if the warrant is not taken back after she received it. An IPI employee then returned the warrant to Berline on January 19th.
Neither this attempt at intimidation nor the act of returning the physical subpoena negates its legal validity. Ms. Cui also never moved the court to quash or modify the subpoena. On Jan. 26, Ms. Cui then failed to appear for the deposition or produce any documents. Ms. Cui clearly violated her legal obligations under the subpoena.
This ended with Berline asking Judge Manglona to keep Cui in contempt of court. The judge has also asked of her to speak on the matter and expose what really happened, as she is currently being hit with a fine worth $10,000 per day up until the day she respects the warrant, after which she could possibly face further sanctions, even jail time for her non-compliance. If Cui would like to avoid more sanctions and problems, she has to respond by Wednesday.
Unsurprisingly, it has been revealed that IPI has yet again not paid its bills, as it has been doing for a while now. This latest accusation comes from the Banes Horey Berman & Miller law firm, currently filing a lawsuit against IPI for breach of contract. Judge Manglona has now asked the company to pay six installments of approximately USD $16,666 as a part of a $100,000 settlement from last year, as well as $113,333.30 with 9% interest.