‘Releasing confidential info has harmful effect’

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Shen Yan, president for the global capital market for Imperial Pacific International LLC in Hong Kong, testified yesterday about how the release of confidential financial information has negatively affected its investors.

During a video conference with Yan yesterday at the District Court for the NMI, he testified in his capacity as president about the struggles IPI and its subsidiaries face due to the leak of the Ernst & Young audited consolidated financial statements.

At the hearing for preliminary injunction in the district court, Yan explained that his job is to raise funds through investors at a sort of “grandfather level” and pass the money along to his “son,” IPI CNMI, while the “son” passes it on to its “son,” IPI CNMI subsidiaries like Grand Marianas and Imperial Pacific Properties.

Due to the recent leak of IPI CNMI’s audited consolidated financial information on various platforms, Yan said that this would make his job harder in terms of enticing investors and raising funds because leaks like these would negatively impact investors.

That’s because there’s the issue with confidentiality, Yan said, as well as interpretation that could be false and prompt questions about IPI’s financial stability to arise.

In a separate interview with IPI lawyer Viola Alepuyo, she feels that the testimony was fair and effectively proved what they needed proven.

“What IPI needed to show was when confidential information is released, there’s harm and we showed that harm,” she said.

After hearing Yan’s testimony, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona Manglona took Yan’s testimony into advisement, said she’d review all the filed motions in both District and Superior Court, and ordered the Commonwealth Casino Commission and IPI to return on Thursday 1pm to deliver their closing arguments on the preliminary injunction.

Manglona said they would also discuss IPI’s motion to remand the case back to the Superior Court and whether the temporary restraining order should be expanded.

Alepuyo is unsure if the court will make a decision following the hearing on Thursday, but she said that IPI trusts the court’s decision.

“Don’t forget that it’s not just stuff we filed here, but stuff we filed with the Superior Court that she’s having to look at. She has over 700 pages when the notice of removal was filed that she has to contend with. She has to review them in order to have a robust record to make a decision. We respect both courts and we have confidence that either court could make the decision it is what it is,” she said.

Alepuyo reiterated that all IPI wants is clarity on the law.

“It’s not that we disagree with what the CCC is doing. It’s just that we feel like the law is vague; there’s different ways to interpret it. There’s a conflict between the Casino Gaming Act, the Open Government Act, and the tax laws and we just want clarity so we know how to comply with the law. It’s hard for us to comply with the law if we don’t really know what it means,” she said.

Kimberly Bautista | 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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