$595 seized from Dynasty to be paid to crash survivors’ lawyer

U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy has ordered the clerk of court to pay over to the trust account of a lawyer for two plane crash survivors the $594.84 that the U.S. Marshals Service seized in 2016 from bank accounts of the owner of the defunct Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino.

In an order on the disposition of funds last Friday, Kennedy said the $595.84 the court seized from Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investment (HKE) will benefit Tomoyuki Nagata, Dr. Jun Takimoto, and Takimoto’s family.

Kennedy said that, since HKE failed to request a hearing on the matter and since those funds remain in the custody of the court, the money will be turned over to the trust account of the plaintiffs’ attorney, Richard W. Pierce.

The U.S. Marshals Service was only able to seize $595.84 from the bank accounts of HKE in October 2016.

The U.S. Marshal Service seized the money shortly after U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered the clerk to issue a writ of execution to Pierce in order to collect $1.4 million from HKE.

In her order, Manglona ordered the clerk to direct the U.S. Marshals Service to levy execution on all funds in HKE’s two accounts at Bank of Saipan and any Bank of Guam account it may hold, up to $1,375,952.71, to satisfy the survivors’ judgment.

Manglona issued the order following the survivors’ request to seize HKE’s assets in two banks after HKE failed to pay on the $1.4-million court judgment to two plane crash survivors since April 2016.

The U.S. Marshal Service informed the court that they seized a total of $595.84 from HKE’s two Bank of Saipan accounts. No money was seized from Bank of Guam.

In April 2016, Manglona ordered HKE to pay $606,723.10 to Nagata and $769,229.61 to Dr. Takimoto and his family to satisfy their settlement agreements.

Pierce said nothing has been paid yet on the $1,375,952.71 judgment.

Nagata and Takimoto were among the seven passengers of a Piper Cherokee aircraft that crashed on a farm in Upper Dandan en route to Tinian on Aug. 11, 2006. HKE settled the lawsuits filed by the survivors, including one filed by Nagata and Takimoto and his family.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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