Company says it has no funds to pay consent judgment right now
Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC has informed the U.S. District Court for the NMI that it would like to set up a payment plan with the U.S. Department of Labor to satisfy the consent judgment because they lack the funds to pay the judgment before the court’s deadline.
Michael Dotts, who is representing IPI in this case, informed the federal court that payments owed under the consent judgment have not been paid and that IPI has insufficient funds to pay them now.
Dotts also reported that no agreement has been reached on a deposit to an escrow account to secure payment of future payrolls.
“IPI lacks funds to make the deposit that the U.S. Department of Labor has requested,” he said.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona found IPI, its parent company Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd., and IPI chair Cui Li Jie in contempt of court for violating the consent judgment and for not paying current employees for over two months.
The sanctions imposed to purge IPI of contempt include a payment of $788,022.54 in wages due to current IPI employees; $1.3 million in wages and overtime compensation for services rendered in 2016 and 2017; restoring employee housing to habitable conditions; and depositing $800,000 into an escrow account for future employees.
The court originally issued a one-week stop-work order for all IPI employees except for administrative staff, kitchen staff, and security. Last week, Manglona extended the stop-work order and amended it to apply only to IPI’s construction workers.
Dotts told the court that IPI workers’ salaries for payroll periods 21 through 26 were distributed last Jan. 21.
As for payroll for 2021, Dotts said a partial distribution for pay periods 1 and 2 took place last Wednesday.
Paychecks for payroll period 3 for 2021 were supposed to be distributed on Jan. 29. However, funding for pay period 3 has not yet been received.
In regards to company housing, Dotts reported that power and water have been restored to the housing for IPI’s employees.
Vestcor Village, however, is being closed down and the employees living there will be transferred to Queens Apartment in Garapan, which has water and power.