Sale of IPI assets pushed back to end of Jan.

District, court, IPI, receivership, stay, Saipan
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The U.S. District Court for the NMI has granted Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC’s request to extend the stay on the limited receivership granted in favor of U.S.A. Fanter Corp. in its breach-of-contract lawsuit against the casino investor.

Last Friday, during the hearing on IPI’s motion for the court to accept the $2.45 million “supersedeas” bond to stay the limited receivership, Chief Judge Ramona Manglona said the district court is satisfied with IPI’s report and grants the stay on the limited receivership until Jan. 31, 2022. The sale was supposed to happen at the end of this month. Manglona informed the parties that she would issue an official written order on her ruling.

She ordered the parties to return to court for a status conference on Jan. 14, 8:30am.

Meanwhile, court heard from the receiver and other creditors and gave notice that it will address the creditor’s motion at a later time.

According to a Saipan Tribune archives, IPI, through counsel Kevin T. Abikoff, filed notice with the court stating that it has secured a “supersedeas” bond in the agreed-upon amount of $2,450,000, secured by Suretech Insurance Co. as surety on behalf of IPI as principal.

Abikoff stated that pursuant to parties’ stipulation regarding the motion to stay judgment pending appeal, IPI now requests approval of its supersedeas bond in the amount of $2.45 million, which will stay execution on the judgment pending appeal.

The lawyer said that, as USA Fanter’s judgment is now sufficiently secured pending appeal, USA Fanter will not be substantially injured by a stay in the limited receivership.

“IPI submits that the balance of hardships favors a stay of the receivership to avoid the sale of IPI’s property at depressed prices—which would harm the interests of IPI as well as of its other creditors—and to allow IPI’s arguments to be fully heard on appeal, without incurring the extreme prejudice of having its assets sold by a receiver,” Abikoff said.

According to court documents, on Feb. 12, 2021, the court entered a judgment in favor of USA Fanter against IPI for a mechanic’s lien in the amount of $2,089,345.28.

On May 26, the court entered an amended judgment in favor of USA Fanter, against IPI for a mechanic’s lien and a money judgment in the amount of $2,089,345.28, plus pre- and post-judgement interest and costs. However, on May 12, IPI filed a Notice of Appeal on these judgments.

Last Oct. 26, the court issued a memorandum decision granting USA Fanter’s motion to appoint a limited receiver to sell IPI’s “casino gaming property” in order to satisfy its judgment against IPI.

On Nov. 29, IPI filed a motion to stay judgment pending appeal. That same day, the court granted a stay until Dec. 15, and ordered IPI and USA Fanter to attempt to negotiate a stipulation regarding sufficient security.

On Dec. 8, IPI and USA Fanter jointly stipulated that should IPI secure a supersedeas bond in the amount of $2.45 million on or before Dec. 15, USA Fanter would agree that this constitutes sufficient security and would not oppose a stay of enforcement in this action.

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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