DOJ yet to approve settlement deal with Tinian Dynasty


The U.S. Department of Justice has yet to issue a final decision regarding the settlement deal between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the owner of Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino. The two have agreed in principle to dismiss the criminal case against Tinian Dynasty in exchange for the forfeiture of $3.02 million, plus other terms and conditions.

At a status conference on Friday, assistant U.S. attorney Marivic David informed the federal court that the U.S. government had informed Tinian Dynasty’s lawyer that there has been no final decision yet from Main Justice in Washington, D.C. about the approval of the settlement deal.

David also apprised the court that the parties have reached an agreement as to the length of the continuance of trial.

Attorney Bruce Berline, counsel for Tinian Dynasty’s owner, Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd., stated that the parties have agreed to continue the trial date for another month and a half.

The trial was scheduled to start today, Monday.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona approved the request and move the trial to April 7, 2015. She set a status conference on March 10, 2015.

The judge advised the U.S. government to continue to communicate with Tinian Dynasty’s counsel regarding the pending decision from Main Justice.

Assistant U.S. attorney Ross Naughton, counsel for the U.S. government, informed the court last Jan. 30 that although they have agreed in principle to the settlement, they are awaiting the U.S. Department of Justice’s final approval of the civil forfeiture amount.

The parties have agreed to dismiss the criminal case against Hong Kong Entertainment without prejudice in consideration for the $3-million civil forfeiture, along with other terms and conditions.

The U.S. government filed in November last year 158 criminal charges against Hong Kong Entertainment: one count of conspiracy to cause a financial institution to fail to file a currency transaction report or CTR, 155 counts of failure to file a CTR, one count of failure to file a suspicious activity report, and one count of failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program. The indictment has also a notice of forfeiture.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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