IPI accuses recycling firm of conspiring to steal copper wires, others needed for casino project


Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC is suing a recycling company in Tanapag and its co-owners for allegedly conspiring to steal and sell construction materials from IPI’s warehouses.

IPI, through counsel Robert J. O’Connor Jr., is suing FSM Recycling Corp., Eric Cruz, Ricky Reyes, a certain Cha, and 15 unnamed co-defendants, for conversion.

O’Connor said that Cruz and Cha are co-owners and co-managers of FSM Recycling Corp.

IPI asked the Superior Court to hold the defendants liable to pay more than $50,000 in punitive damages and other damages in an amount to be proven at trial.

As of press time yesterday, Saipan Tribune was still trying to get comments from the defendants.

According to O’Connor in the complaint filed early this week, Reyes broke into one or more of IPI’s warehouses in Tanapag in February 2020 and cut the padlock on at least one of the containers stored there.

O’Connor said Reyes stole construction materials, including copper fixtures and spools of copper wire, from the container and then put a new padlock on the container to cover up the break-in.

Reyes then allegedly brought the stolen items to FSM Recycling Corp.

On March 20, 2020, an IPI agent went to FSM Recycling Corp. and met with Cha and Cruz, who denied ever receiving items stolen from IPI.

O’Connor said Cha and Cruz refused to let the IPI agent inspect the company’s storage space. However, the lawyer said, mere minutes after the meeting, two pickup trucks left the recycling company’s premises and Cha was riding one of them. He said at least one of those trucks had its back covered.

O’Connor said those trucks traveled south together at a speed much higher than the speed limit, and eventually entered a family compound. He said after the trucks went inside the compound, the compound’s gate was locked, denying access to anyone who wished to inspect the cargo in the trucks.

As of the time this complaint is filed, O’Connor said, the items stolen from IPI have not been returned. He said the items stolen are essential to the construction of IPI’s casino and resort project in Garapan.

“Not being able to use the items has caused and will continue to cause delay in the construction of that project, and results in monetary loss to IPI,” O’Connor said.

The lawyer said the defendants have been engaging in this type of stealing and fencing for a while and their misconduct is not limited to just one incident.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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