IPI request to stop Nov. 30 auction denied

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The unfinished casino of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC in Garapan. Photo taken by commercial drone pilot BJ Eddy (https://youtu.be/mydiGis7xwY). (BJ EDDY)

The U.S. District Court for the NMI has ruled in favor of USA Fanter Corp. Ltd., denying Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s recent motion to stay the first auction of IPI assets tomorrow, Nov. 30.

Following a hearing on IPI’s verbal motion to vacate or, in the alternative, to stay the limited receivership that was officially filed with the federal court last week, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona denied the requests to either vacate or stay the limited receivership, without prejudice. This means IPI can file the motion again.

In a separate statement from USA Fanter lawyer Colin Thompson, as of last Friday, the auction of IPI’s gaming equipment is still set for Nov. 30 unless IPI gets a court order. The parties will be back in court at 4:30pm this afternoon for a hearing on pending renewed motion.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, this Tuesday’s auction will be the first of six auctions to sell off gaming equipment owned by the Saipan casino operator as receivers look to redeem more than $2 million owed under a U.S. District Court order.

Clear Management Ltd, a company headed by Silver Heritage Group co-founder Tim Shepherd, was appointed as receiver in October after IPI was ordered to repay $2.1 million to USA Fanter for construction work at IPI’s Saipan hotel and casino, Imperial Palace Saipan, in 2019. Legal action was launched in January 2020 after IPI failed to pay.

A total of six auctions will be held—one per month until April 29, 2022—with Clear Management now taking blind bids for the Nov. 30 event.

Around the same time Shepherd was appointed receiver in this case, the court denied Thompson’s motion for the appointment of a receiver for the sale of IPI’s real property.

Manglona denied Thompson’s motion without prejudice for the court to appoint a receiver for the sale of IPI’s real property but did grant the motion for the limited appointment of a receiver for the sale of IPI’s liquid assets, including cash, its gaming machines, vehicles, liquors, and more.

IPI’s liquid assets is currently valued at around $2.25 million. However, the parties involve argue that the value of these assets only continue to diminish by the day and may not be enough to satisfy the $2.1-million judgment and its over 15 other creditors.

USA Fanter sued IPI for its failure to pay the full amount due under a construction contract for labor and materials provided for the improvement of IPI’s real property.

USA Fanter claims that IPI only paid USA Fanter $300,000 and the unpaid balance due was not less than $2,089,345.28.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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