Century Estate seeks priority in IPI receivership

Century Estate claims that its loan to IPI should take precedence.
Century Estate claims that its loan to IPI should take precedence.

Century Estate has filed a motion to intervene in the receivership sought by Joshua Gray.

Northern Mariana Islands.- Century Estate Investment, a creditor of Imperial Pacific International (IPI), has taken legal action to assert its secured interest in IPI’s assets after a receivership request by Joshua Gray, who holds a judgment against IPI.

Through attorney Matthew T. Gregory, Century Estate has filed a motion to intervene in Gray’s pursuit of receivership in the US District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. The company argues that its loan to IPI provided in February 2022, should take precedence over Gray’s claims.

Gregory said that Century Estate came to IPI’s aid to address its financial difficulties and cash flow challenges. In exchange for the loan, Century Estate secured a first-priority mortgage on IPI’s collateral assets.

The amount on Century Estate’s loan stands at US$9m, plus an 8 per cent annual interest rate, as IPI has defaulted on the repayment. To mitigate the losses stemming from IPI’s default, Century Estate seeks the right to intervene and initiate the liquidation of assets.

In May, the District Court for the NMI made a judgment awarding Gray US$5.6m. The federal court granted him the right to participate in limited receivership proceedings on June 26.

USDOL files notice of default against IPI

The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) has initiated proceedings against IPI for its failure to meet payment obligations stipulated in a consent judgment. USDOL lawyer Charles Song has filed a notice of default with the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands arguing the casino operator has failed to make a US$249,287 payment due on August 1 and the US$249,287 instalment due on September 1. According to The Saipan Tribune, IPI made a partial payment of US$50,000 in August.

This legal dispute stems from a lawsuit for labour violations, which led to the consent judgment entered into by USDOL and IPI on April 11, 2019. The judgment aimed to address violations concerning unpaid minimum wages and overtime premiums under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). IPI’s non-compliance with the payment terms led to the district court issuing a contempt order on January 21, 2021. This mandated IPI to settle unpaid payroll and related dues.

Consequently, IPI entered into the first amended consent judgment and made the required payments. USDOL later identified additional violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. IPI entered into a second amended consent judgment, committing to make payments between January 2022 and January 2024. 

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Imperial Pacific International