Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC disclosed yesterday that they recently increased the number of employees that handle the clearing of outstanding payment requests of vendors. To date, they have paid off all local vendors with outstanding payments from $20,000 to $300,000.
IPI said in a statement that, as a result of increasing the number of staff, “significant progress” has been made on audit and clearing of payment requests.
IPI said they are working on an audit of the remaining payment requests. IPI said the two payment requests over $300,000 are from former contractor, Pacific Rim Land Development LLC, and subcontractor USA Fanter Corp.
Pacific Rim is suing IPI in federal court for alleged non-payment of services in the amount of $5.65 million. USA Fanter president Guocao Qian said IPI’s site engineer approved completion of 41.1%, totaling $2.39 million of the total contract of $5.8 million. Qian said IPI only paid $300,000 in August 2019 after a threatened notice of work stoppage was issued on Aug. 20, 2019.
At the last Dec. 19 Commonwealth Casino Commission monthly regular meeting, representatives of many vendors and former IPI contractors who are allegedly collectively owed $35 million jointly appealed to CCC to take action against IPI, whom they accused of engaging in a pattern and practice of breaching contracts and dishonoring obligations to licensed professionals in the CNMI.
At the same meeting, Rep. Edwin K. Propst (Ind-Saipan) appealed to the CCC to ensure that IPI be made to pay the CNMI government $18 million in developer’s infrastructure tax, $37 million in community benefit fund, and millions of dollars more to its vendors and former contractors.
CCC recently disclosed that they are currently investigating disputes between IPI and some of their vendors, based on the claims at the Dec. 19 meeting.
In a statement yesterday, IPI said they honor business commitments and financial obligations.
“IPI appreciates the contribution by our business partners and will maintain our increased level of staff and effort on clearing payment requests,” IPI said.