Cui pleads the fifth


Cui Li Jie, the former chairwoman of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, invoked her fifth amendment right during an evidentiary hearing last week at the U.S. District Court for the NMI.

Cui invoked her fifth amendment right when she was called to testify during an evidentiary hearing in the lawsuit filed by seven construction workers alleging labor violations.

The fifth amendment right essentially means the government cannot force an individual to provide information that could implicate themselves.

During the hearing last week, lawyers Aaron Halegua and Bruce Berline, who represent the seven construction workers, called Cui to testify before the court via videoconference.

Cui’s lawyer, Clyde Lemons Jr., asserted his client’s fifth amendment right.

Back on May 26, U.S District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona entered a default judgment in favor of the seven workers in the amount of $5,430,595.58 plus post-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees against IPI.

To date, the plaintiffs claim the judgment remains unsatisfied in the amount of $5,430,595.58, plus post-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees, meaning IPI has yet to make a single payment to the plaintiffs.

On Aug. 26, 2021, Manglona found Cui in contempt of court anew for failing to comply with a previous preservation order regarding Electronically Stored Information or ESI that she created or used, including emails, and ESI data sent or received by others on her behalf.

Because the $5.4-million default judgment in favor of the plaintiffs remain unsatisfied, all the ESI data held by the former IPI chair remain relevant to the proceedings.

The seven construction workers who filed the suit against IPI and its former contractor and subcontractor, MCC International and Gold Mantis Construction Decoration, both of which have already settled with the plaintiffs, include: Tianming Wang, Dong Han, Yongjun Meng, Liangcai Sun, Youli Wang, Qingchun Xu, and Duxin Yan.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at
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