Four executives of Swift Air LLC, the supposed partner of Saipan Air Inc., received large bonuses and other payments from Swift Air prior to the company's filing of bankruptcy protection, according to attorney Steven P. Pixley.
Pixley, counsel for Saipan Air Inc., disclosed that, on June 27, 2012, the four officials-Donald A. Stukes, Jeffrey Conry, Hank Tobert, and Boris Van Lier, caused Swift Air to file for bankruptcy protection before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Arizona.
Pixley said that, on July 11, 2012, Swift Air filed a statement of financial affairs in this bankruptcy proceeding stating that Van Lier received payments in the amount of $800,000 from Swift Air between March 30, 2012 and June 26, 2012.
Lier, a resident of the State of Carolina, was allegedly the chief operating officer of Swift Air, LLC, a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of Arizona.
The lawyer exposed the alleged large bonuses in the Saipan Air Inc.'s filing on Wednesday in federal court of its first amended complaint against the four executives.
The amended $50-million racketeering lawsuit still named the four executives as defendants along with 10 unnamed co-defendants for allegedly conspiring to obtain money and other property from Saipan Air Inc.
In the amended complaint, Saipan Air is suing the defendants for fraud, violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, and unjust enrichment.
The original complaint has the same claims for relief except that its third claim is a civil conspiracy.
The amended complaint is more specific as to the allegations against each defendant. It also makes minor changes on a few dates.
Saipan Air asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to hold the defendants liable to pay the company $50 million in punitive damages, plus unspecified amounts in restitution, special damages, attorney's fees, and court costs.
Pixley said as a result of the defendants' unjust enrichment, Saipan Air has been damaged in an amount in excess of $1.26 million.
Swift Air was not named in the first and amended complaints because of the bankruptcy petitioned it filed, preventing it from being sued.
On April 6, 2012, Saipan Air entered into an Aircraft ACMI Charter Agreement with Swift Air relating to the charter of two Boeing 757-200 aircraft and one Boeing 737-400 aircraft.
The aircraft were to be delivered to Saipan Air on or before July 1, 2012, to transport tourists from China to various locations in Japan and China to and from the CNMI.
On June 24, 2012, Saipan Air received a letter from Lier dated June 21, 2012, stating that “Swift hereby provides notice to Saipan Air that the agreement is hereby terminated and canceled without further notice or effect.”
On June 27, 2012, Swift Air filed for bankruptcy petition.
Pixley said Saipan Air incurred substantial damages arising from the acts and omissions of the defendants.
Saipan Air was then compelled to cease all of its business operations on June 29, 2012.