Andrew Yeom, the Commonwealth Casino Commission’s executive director, has filed a new complaint against IPI for alleged non-payment of this year’s US$3m regulatory fee.
Northern Mariana Islands.- Andrew Yeom, CCC’s executive director, has filed a fifth complaint against Imperial Pacific International seeking to revoke the operator’s exclusive casino licence. He again argues that the company failed to pay this year’s annual regulatory fees of US$3m.
The CCC Board of Directors gave IPI until November 15, 2021, to answer Yeom’s complaints Yeom against the casino operator, all of which call for the immediate cancellation of IPI’s exclusive casino licence. According to the Saipan Tribune, at the monthly meeting of the CCC board of directors, IPI submitted responses to four of the five complaints.
Yeom said that IPI’s responses to the first four complaints have been forwarded to the committee. However, he said that the responses were signed by a non-lawyer and that the CCC needed to take legal advice on whether they were acceptable.
CCC chair Edward C. DeLeon Guerrero stated: “Technically, we could consider those, in my opinion, as not submitting a reply.”
Tao Xing, IPI’s vice president for public affairs said the operator’s new local counsel is former attorney general Joey P. San Nicolas. he argued that IPI’s responses were drafted by off-island attorneys as they did not have a local lawyer at that time. He said the company will make submissions before November 15.
IPI faces another lawsuit for breach of contract
IPI is facing another legal issue. Kan Pacific Saipan Ltd has now filed a lawsuit in Federal Court alleging that IPI failed to pay the company, violating the agreement they reached in May 2016.
The company’s lawyer Joseph Iacopino said that IPI still needs to make annual payments due June 2020 and June 2021, which amount to more than US$400,000. Kan Pacific wants a jury trial and hopes that the court will order IPI to pay damages, arrears, legal costs, pre-judgment interest, and other relief that the court deems appropriate.
The agreement between Kan Pacific was essentially to transfer all of Kan Pacific’s assets and business to IPI, and required Kan Pacific to encourage existing employees to join IPI.