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IPI proposes global agreement to settle CCC’s 5 complaints

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Commonwealth Casino Commission board chair Edward C. Deleon Guerrero presides over the commission’s monthly meeting yesterday at the CCC conference room at the Springs Plaza building in Gualo Rai. He disclosed that Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has proposed a global settlement that will resolve CCC’s five complaints against IPI. (FERDIE DE LA TORRE)

Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has proposed to enter a global settlement agreement with the Commonwealth Casino Commission to settle all CCC’s five enforcement complaints against IPI.

CCC board chair Edward C. Deleon Guerrero disclosed IPI’s proposal at yesterday’s CCC board meeting at the commission’s office in Gualo Rai. He did not elaborate.

The CCC evidentiary hearing on the consolidated two cases is set to commence today, Thursday, at 10am.

In an interview after the meeting, Deleon Guerrero said they have amended the meeting’s agenda so they can entertain the so-called global settlement today, Thursday, at 9am.

The chairman said yesterday morning that CCC executive director Andrew Yeom and their lawyer, assistant attorney general Michael Ernest, advised them that IPI has put forward a global settlement proposal in reference to the five enforcement actions.

Deleon Guerrero said he has no information as to what’s in the proposed global deal as he is not privy to it and has not seen it. “But I would expect that it would deal with what CCC is demanding in terms of the alleged violations,” he said.

The CCC, through its executive director, initiated the five enforcement actions against IPI as its been very concerned about IPI’s alleged violations of the casino license agreement.

Deleon Guerrero said they finally scheduled two evidentiary hearings, in compliance with the due process requirements that’s built in not only in the gaming laws but also in the Administrative Procedures Act and at the advice of their two lawyers

Of the five enforcement actions against IPI, two have been consolidated and the hearing will start today, Thursday, at 10am.

The second evidentiary for the remaining three enforcement actions has been scheduled for next week, March 2.

Deleon Guerrero said this global settlement is common in any kind if litigations.

He said the CCC executive director and IPI cannot settle this themselves as the agreement must be presented to the CCC’s board for approval.

The chairman said he heard that IPI’s counsel involved in the global settlement is Tiberius D. Mocanu.

Deleon Guerrero said the global settlement may affect the cases that they already scheduled for hearings.

“If there’s agreement to accept that or accept with modifications, then it may affect what we’ve already scheduled,” he said.

The chairman said if they see it as it’s not worth settling, then the hearing will proceed.

In October 2020, then acting CCC executive director Andrew Yeom filed a complaint against IPI over IPI’s failure to pay the $3.1 million in annual regulatory fee that was due last Oct. 1.

Yeom first filed two claims against IPI for violation of the Commonwealth Code and CCC regulation, a claim for breach of contract, and a claim for declaratory order.

Last Sept. 24, Yeom filed another complaint against IPI for allegedly not complying with a CCC order directing IPI to settle in full any payable or contribution owed to a public or private entity and immediately pay any debt owed to any private entity that is more than 89 days old.

Last Sept. 1, Yeom again filed a complaint against IPI for allegedly failing to comply with the minimum capital requirements of CCC’s order, among other issues.

Last August, Yeom also filed a complaint against IPI over its failure to pay the $15.5 million in annual casino license fee by the deadline last Aug. 12.

Last June, then-CCC executive director Charlie Atalig filed a complaint against IPI for allegedly failing to contribute $40 million in community benefit fund money in 2018 and 2019 as required by the Casino License Agreement.

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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