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AG’s office: Finance’s tax lien against IPI takes precedence over Pacific Rim’s claims

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THE Department of Finance-Division of Revenue and Taxation’s tax lien over Imperial Pacific International’s unpaid taxes in the amount of over $9 million takes precedence over the claims of  IPI’s former contractor, Pacific Rim Land Development LLC, the Attorney General’s Office said.

In a notice of tax  lien filed in federal court, Assistant Attorney General Dustin Rollins, who represents Finance-DRT, asserted the rights of the CNMI government over “property and rights to property, whether real or personal,” belonging to the casino investor.

“As the Commonwealth’s tax lien was filed in accordance with applicable law, including 4 CMC § 1861 et seq. and Sections 6321, 6322, and 6323 of the Northern Marianas Territorial Income Tax, the Commonwealth asserts that its lien has priority over any unrecorded judgments or unperfected liens of the plaintiff, Pacific Rim Land Development LLC,” Rollins said.

IPI owes the CNMI government $9,416,887.09 in unpaid business gross revenue taxes, the AG’s office stated.

Pacific Rim recently requested the court for another writ of execution request, this time to seize IPI vehicles and gaming machines to satisfy the court judgment.

On April 27, 2020, the District Court for the NMI entered a judgment in favor of Pacific Rim in its lawsuit against IPI for breach of contract and breach of promissory note.

On May 2, 2020, the federal court entered an amended civil judgment in favor of Pacific Rim in the amount of $6.8 million including the principal amount and attorney’s fees and costs.

The federal court previously granted the application for a writ of execution of Pacific Rim to seize money owned or controlled by IPI from Bank of Saipan, City Trust Bank, Bank of Guam, and First Hawaiian Bank; and two escrow accounts believed to be owned by IPI at Security Title Inc., and Pacific American Title Inc.

On July 15, 2020,  Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona  authorized the U.S. Marshals Service to release seized IPI funds from Bank of Saipan in the amount of $1,383,869.45 and $100 from Pacific American Title

Pacific Rim attorney Colin Thompson said the judgment remains unsatisfied in the amount of $5,525,463.98 plus interest, costs, and fees that have yet to be addressed.

At a hearing on Aug. 25, Judge Manglona set a briefing schedule regarding the tax lien as follows:

  • DRT’s brief is due on Sept. 1.
  • Pacific Rim’s opposition, Sept. 15.
  • IPI’s position, Sept. 15.
  • DRT’s reply, Sept. 22.
  • Pacific Rim’s reply to IPI’s position, Sept. 22.

Pacific Rim sued IPI for refusing to pay for services in the amount of $5.65 million involving the agreed-upon construction work for the IPI casino-resort project on Sept. 30, 2018.

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