The U.S. Department of Labor and the CNMI Department of Finance have come to an agreement that the consent judgment filed by the former against Imperial Pacific International Holdings, Ltd and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI), LLC will take precedence over the tax lien filed by the latter.
In a stipulation submitted to the U.S. District Court for the NMI, the two parties came to an agreement—without going through a formal process of adjudication—that the CNMI Department of Finance’s tax lien against IPI and IPIH will be subordinate to the consent decree claim of USDOL.
Prompted by the stipulation, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona issued an order yesterday reflecting this, saying that the CNMI’s claims and liens against IPI, IPIH, and IPIH chair Cui Li Jie are subordinated to the USDOL secretary’s claim against them in the amount of $1.5 million.
“This amount of the [U.S. Labor] secretary’s claim will be prior to and superior to the Commonwealth’s claims and liens,” said Manglona.
Last March 23, the court ruled in favor of USDOL over Finance, through Richard Santos, Revenue and Taxation Collection & Remittance Branch manager, who filed the tax lien against IPI in federal court last August 2020 for allegedly failing to pay $9,416,887 in Business Gross Revenue Tax for the tax period in 2017 to 2019.
“There is a lien in favor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on all property and rights to property belonging to the taxpayer for the amount of these taxes and any additional penalties, interest, and costs that may accrue,” said Santos last August 2020.
As of press time, there was no official court document if the appointed receiver, Joyce Tang, has taken action against IPI or if the receivership has been extended again.
IPI has funds for payroll
In its 10th status report last March 22, IPI said it has sufficient funds to cover the payroll for this Friday.
Additionally, IPI’s employee housing still has power and food services continue without interruption for all H-2B workers.
IPI said there are no new repatriations and construction work at Imperial Pacific Resort in Garapan remains suspended.