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Casino commission looks into disputes between IPI, vendors

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THE Commonwealth Casino Commission is now investigating the disputes between Imperial Pacific International and some of its vendors over alleged unpaid obligations.

IPI, for its part, said it is working with “a number of vendors to verify products and services provided, and develop mutually agreeable settlements.”

In a statement on Friday, the casino commission said it is looking into the complaints aired by IPI vendors during the meeting of the commission on Dec. 19.

A letter signed by representatives and presidents of the vendors was submitted to CCC Executive Director Edward Deleon Guerrero and was read during the meeting by one of the vendor representatives. They urged the commission “to act on reported claims of breaches of contracts to licensed professionals in the Commonwealth.”

They also accused IPI of conducting an “unsuitable method of operation.”

This matter is taken seriously, and the commission is launching its own investigations to ensure that IPI complies with its contractual, regulatory, and legal agreements,” the casino commission said.

It noted, however, “that there are defenses to these allegations and not every non-payment or late payment automatically constitutes a breach.”

The commission added, “Issues such as nonpayment, non-performance and substantial performance are often questions of fact which require investigation and determinations by a neutral finder of fact. It is further noted that every vendor is unique, and each contract is different.”

The commission at the same time said it is grateful to the vendors for bringing the matter to the attention of the government agency.

The commission will reach out to the vendors for additional documentation and information, when necessary. The vendors can rest assured that the results of the investigations will bring forth appropriate actions,” the commission added.

In an email to Variety, IPI said it “strives to be a responsible corporate citizen of CNMI.”

We honor our business commitments and financial obligations. We have been working with a number of vendors to verify products and services provided, and develop mutually agreeable settlements of claimed obligations,” IPI added.

IPI said the main disputes involve the construction contracts with Pacific Rim and USA Fanter.

We are conducting an audit on their work and their full cooperation is required. We strongly urge both companies to collaborate with IPI on the audit. We expect to complete the verification within a month and will take legal action if fraud is found,” IPI said.

We respect the authority of Commonwealth Casino Commission and will fully cooperate with its inquiries. We will continue to do our best to complete the casino project and contribute to CNMI economic growth,” IPI added.


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