Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd., the owner of Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, filed on Friday in federal court a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.
Saipan Tribune learned that attorney Timothy H. Bellas filed the bankruptcy petition on behalf of HKE.
Details of the petition were not available as of press time because the petition was filed late Friday afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the NMI.
Saipan Tribune contacted Bellas for comments but he has yet to reply.
Chapter 11 allows a debtor (in this case, Hong Kong Entertainment) to enter into an agreement with creditors under which all or a part of the business continues. Chapter 11’s objective is to adjust and reorganize a debtor’s obligations so as to allow the business to continue.
The filing of the bankruptcy petition came a day after Tinian Casino Gaming and Control Commission executive director Lucy Blanco-Maratita confirmed the news that the commissiion has approved HKE’s application to reopen the casino tomorrow, Tuesday.
Last June, the U.S. Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network assessed a civil penalty of $75 million against HKE for “willful and egregious violations” of the Bank Secrecy Act.
Last July, the federal court dismissed the criminal charges against HKE after the company and the U.S. government entered into a non-prosecution agreement that requires Tinian Dynasty to forfeit $3.04 million—the largest forfeiture ever collected by the United States in the CNMI.
Last September, the CNMI Department of Finance’s Revenue and Taxation filed in federal court a notice of tax lien against HKE to collect $125,452 in alleged unpaid taxes this year.
Last month, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez and other federal labor officials filed a counterclaim in federal court against HKE and its president, Kwan Man.
In their counterclaim, Perez and the other federal labor officials asked the court to affirm the U.S. Labor Administrative Review Board’s final decision that ordered HKE and Man to pay a civil penalty totaling $191,400 “for willful and repeat violations” of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.