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Quichocho says he can only afford to pay $50 a month

»Disbarred lawyer says he is now a truck driver

Disbarred lawyer Ramon K. Quichocho says he is now self-employed and works as a truck driver in Tacoma, Washington, and that he cannot afford to make any payments on a court judgment that holds him and his wife liable to pay businesswoman Jung Ja Kim $2.8 million.

In his declaration in federal court yesterday, Quichocho said he can possibly make $50 payments per month until his financial condition gets better.

Quichocho made the declaration in support of his and his wife Frances’ joint opposition to Kim’s motion for order in aid of judgment.

Kim’s lawyer, Robert T. Torres, had asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to summon Quichocho and his wife and compel them to reveal information about their assets and those that were transferred during the course of the litigation.

Torres disclosed that Quichocho allegedly transferred 10 parcels of land on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota to his brother, Ignacio, supposedly for $30,000, while his and wife’s jury trial was ongoing.

That case eventually ended up with the Quichocho couple being held liable to pay $2.4 million in damages to Kim. The court recently awarded Kim $387,791.15 for her damages, costs, and attorney’s fees. The award brings the total amount the couple is liable to pay Kim to $2,799,510.24.

Torres also revealed that on Aug. 27, 2014, after the entry of final judgment in Kim’s case, Quichocho quitclaimed two more parcels of land on Rota consisting of 8,077 square meters to his uncle, Joaquin Q. Atalig, for just $1.

The Quichochos filed the joint opposition to Kim’s motion yesterday. Quichocho represented himself in the opposition, while attorney Michael W. Dotts served as counsel for Frances.

Quichocho and Dotts asserted that the first transaction was intended to raise money for the couple because Quichocho had essentially been forced to close his law firm on Saipan so he could defend Kim’s lawsuit.

Quichocho and Dotts said as there was no judgment or lien at the time of the first transaction, and as it was for value, it would be improper for the court to set it aside.

As for the second transaction, Quichocho and Dotts said this occurred about five months after the first transaction and happened to settle another litigation.

“Neither the first nor the second transactions were to defeat the interests of a creditor. The transactions were fair and legitimate. They were for value,” they said.

Quichocho and Dotts said as Kim had no liens on the properties, and not even a judgment when the first transaction occurred, so her effort to set aside the deals is inappropriate.

They asked the court to deny Kim’s motion in its entirety. As alternative, they asked the court to set a reasonable amount for the Quichochos to pay Kim monthly.

In his declaration, Quichocho said he, his wife, and their daughter currently stay in Washington with his brother and sister, who have been helping with some of their expenses.

He said he is self-employed and is operating 4K Driving Power, where he serves as a truck driver.

He said Frances is not employed at this time.

Quichocho said his business has a total monthly gross income of $1,400, but their total expenses per month is $1,533.

Quichocho said he and his wife sold their real properties to his brother, Ignacio, in February 2014 to raise funds to pay for his business and his family’s living costs and expenses.

He said his income had substantially decreased beginning several months before the trial in Kim’s lawsuit started.

Quichocho said that on Aug. 27, 2014, almost five months after he sold his land to his brother, he and his wife transferred their interests to the real properties to his uncle, Joaquin Atalig.

Quichocho said he made the transfer so that Atalig could settle with Sin Ho Nam’s lawsuit by giving him a new 55-year lease over the same properties.

He said Nam now holds a 55-year leasehold interest in the properties.

The trial in Kim’s racketeering lawsuit began on Feb. 3, 2014. On March 28, 2014, the jury reached a verdict, holding the Quichocho couple and his law firm liable to pay $2.4 million in damages to Kim.

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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