CNMI casino chair found in contempt; receiver to sell assets

8:23 am on 25 February 2021

The head of Saipan's casino in the Northern Marianas has been found in contempt of court.

Inside the Imperial Pacific Casino in Saipan, CNMI. 30 September 2019.

Inside the Imperial Pacific Casino in Saipan, CNMI. 30 September 2019. Photo: Imperial Pacific Casino

This comes amid the company being in receivership with moves underway to sell its assets to pay off a judgment in a separate case.

The US District Court for the Northern Marianas found the chair of Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd, Cui Li Jie, in contempt for failure to comply with a subpoena relating to a lawsuit filed by workers of a former sub-contractor.

Cui had been ordered to pay from her personal accounts, including attorney fees for time and costs associated with preparing depositions on 5 February.

Former workers of the Mantis Construction Decoration accused the company of forced labour and human trafficking.

The workers are also seeking $US3.86 million in compensation and $US7.72m in damages.

Meanwhile the US Department of Labour nominated NMI Settlement Fund trustee, Joyce Tang, as the proposed receiver.

The department also proposed to place Imperial Pacific International in receivership limited to the liquidation of assets enough to purge contempt and pay the receiver's fees and costs.

This case is in relation to contempt charges against the Saipan casino for failure to pay a 2018 judgment related to alleged labour violations at the IPI construction site.

To purge itself of contempt, IPI must pay $US1.2m to USDOL as owed under the consent judgment and fund an $US800,000 escrow account by 1 March.