IPI Confirms It Cannot Pay Its Debts
Imperial Pacific International (IPI) confirmed what everyone already knew, it cannot pay its debts. IPI doesn’t have the money available to satisfy a judgment made against it, the company’s lawyer, Michael Dotts, revealed.
IPI owes several million dollars to various agencies and companies. It owes the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) almost US$3 million and almost US$1.2 million to its staff.
The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) ordered IPI to halt work on its lavish Imperial Palace project until the company’s employees received their outstanding wages. The CNMI ordered IPI to pay US$788,022.54 in outstanding wages plus an additional US$1.3 million in overtime pay. Some of the outstanding balances dated back to 2016.
IPI magically raised US$3.36 million and paid the majority of its affected employees. It still owes US$1,183,000, however. An additional US$800,000 is due in an escrow account as Chief Judge Ramona Manglona recently ordered. This sum is earmarked for future employee salary expenses.
Judge Manglona threatened to put IPI into receivership if it doesn’t make good on its debt. The judge has already found IPI and its chair in contempt of court in matters related to the company’s finances.
“IPI lacks funds to make the deposit that the U.S. Department of Labor has requested,” Dotts said. The stricken company hopes to agree to a payment plan.
Xerox Enters Battle With IPI
Print and digital document giant Xerox is another company IPI owes money to. Xerox is seeking US$182,905 in damages, interest, and late fees. The two companies entered a service agreement in 2016. Xerox served a complaint and official summons on IPI in December 2020 but nobody responded to it. It wants IPI to return all equipment and pays Xerox’ legal fees and related costs.
Three IPI Executives Indicted on Federal Charges
The U.S. Department of Justice indicted three IPI executives in August 2020. All three men face arrest if they ever return to the United States.
A federal grand jury returned a 71-count superseding indictment against Liwen Wu, Jinmin Xu, and Tan Shi. They are charged with committing criminal act while holding executive positions with IPI and MCC International Saipan.
They stand accused of utilising criminal labour practices during the construction of the Grand Mariana Hotel and Resort on the island of Saipan. The DOJ claims the trio transferred more than US$24 million into the United States to promote their illegal activities.
None of the three men is U.S. citizens so the DOJ cannot request their extradition to the United States. The DOJ will arrest Wu, Xu, and Shi should they set foot on U.S. soil again in their lifetimes.
“All three defendants are foreign nationals who currently reside outside of the United States. Upon returning to the United States, the individuals will be arrested, arraigned, and brought to trial in federal court.”
What Next For the Failing Company?
The future of the company is most definitely not one filled with optimism. Court orders prevent the construction of the Imperial Palace’s first phase. This should have completed in 2018, but that never happened. A request for an extension to 2019 was granted, then an additional one for full completion in 2022.
IPI has until February 28 to complete the first phase otherwise it breaches its casino licence. This deadline is impossible to hit thanks to orders preventing construction continuing.
The stricken company is now in the hole for several million dollars and unable to complete its casino. Vultures are circling and calling in those massive debts. It is, therefore, looking increasingly likely that IPI will be no more in the not-too-distant future.
The company does have assets thought to be worth US$26 million. Blackjack tables, roulette wheels and other casino equipment come to $20 million. Luxurious vehicles add another US$6 million to the tally.
IPI, however, is the only company in Saipan that is allowed to own such equipment. This means they would need to sell to a customer abroad if they indeed intended to sell.
Executives believe any sale would only bring in US$2 million. Also, the equipment and vehicles are needed should it ever manage to open its casino.