IN RELATION TO THE AUCTION OF IPI ASSETS

Parties agree to hold off on selling certain products

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The unfinished casino of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC in Garapan. (KIMBERLY B. ESMORES)

The parties involved in the auction of Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC assets, which is set to commence today, have agreed on a 30-day stay on assets belonging to Angel Playing Cards USA Inc., which include dealing shoes and playing cards.

Yesterday, Richard Miller, counsel to APC, Colin Thompson, counsel for USA Fanter Corp. Ltd., Stephen Nutting, counsel for IPI, and Tim Shepherd, the court-appointed receiver, all signed off on a stipulation agreeing to a 30-day stay on the sale of APC products that were supplied to IPI back in 2016.

Parties filed the stipulation yesterday afternoon, asking U.S. District Court for the CNMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona to continue the hearing on APC’s motion to preliminarily enjoin or prohibit the sale of their products at the court’s earliest convenience.

Miller, who represents APC, initially asked the federal court to preliminary enjoin or prohibit the sale of its products by the court-appointed receiver.

Miller said APC has supplied IPI Holdings Ltd. and its affiliates, including IPI, with electronic dealing shoes and playing cards since 2016, specifically the Super Angel Eye β or SAE β dealing shoes, and Angel playing cards

“The Super Angel Eye β or SAE β dealing shoes are sensitive electronic devices coded for each casino that uses them. The Angel playing cards have an invisible bar code that is customized to be acknowledged and read by SAE β shoes provided to Imperial Pacific,” Miller said.

Miller argued that because a January 2020 shipment of 161,280 decks of playing cards has not been fully paid, IPI does not have title to those decks and therefore the receiver cannot sell them.

“The sale of its products on Nov. 30, will irreparably harm APC and run counter to the public interest. This intellectual property or ‘IP’ is closely guarded by APC, and IPI is contractually obligated not to disclose it to third parties,” the lawyer said.

Miller said his client demonstrates a fair likelihood of success on the merits and agrees that if the court does not rule in their favor after deliberation on their case, then the receiver can include their products in the auction.

“The receiver can go forward with the Nov. 30 auction of other gaming equipment to satisfy the judgment in favor of USA Fanter, and APC’s products can be included in subsequent monthly auctions if the court, after adequate time fully deliberating on the merits of APC’s claims, determines that the receiver should sell them,” Miller said.

According to a previous article on the Saipan Tribune, the first of six auctions of IPI’s gaming equipment is still set for today, Nov. 30.

Today’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.

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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