“There are two ways that this industry will quickly die. One, violate FinCEN regulations, and two, don’t pay your vendors. If those two occur, you are on an absolute cliff,” Commonwealth Casino Commission Chairman Ed Deleon Guerrero, to Imperial Pacific International officials who attended the CCC meeting on Thursday.
FACT 1: IPI has been chronically negligent in paying nearly all obligations and is in arrears with vendors, workers, taxes, public land leases, utilities, and Community Benefit Fund requirements spelled out in the casino license agreement.
At Thursday’s CCC meeting, when asked if the IPI board’s certification of good financial standing was an accurate representation of reality, in light of what Chairman Deleon Guerrero called a “litany” of ongoing ocomplaints about unpaid obligations, IPI Vice President Tao Xing said he was unable to answer that question.The Chairman called for a hearing on IPI’s financial suitability.
Meanwhile, at exactly the same time on Thursday, in a federal district court case alleging IPI’s involvement in a forced labor and human trafficking scheme, IPI attorney Michael Dotts told the judge, “We have run out of money.” Judge Ramona Manglona said IPI should be prepared to open up its bank accounts and assets to prove it.
FACT 2: IPI has been found in violation of federal anti-money laundering laws and FinCEN regulations.
In its annual report posted last March on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for the year ended December 2019, IPI disclosed FinCEN’s findings of violations of the federal Bank Secrecy Act and implementing regulations (see pages 6 and 20 of the report found here: https://www1.hkexnews.hk/…/listconews/sehk/2020/0401/202004…) and indicated that IPI was preparing a response to FinCEN’s letter dated March 4, 2020.
It was clear from the discussion at yesterday’s CCC meeting that nearly three months later, IPI has yet to respond to FinCEN. Chairman Deleon Guerrero urged Mr. Xing to direct “all resources” to respond to FinCEN’s letter – a document that the Chairman said totaled 94 pages.
“You do not have any other option but to respond,” Chairman Deleon Guerrero told Mr. Xing. Mr. Xing replied that he understood.
Also in that meeting, IPI’s compliance department manager, Caren Decker, who is responsible for preparing reports to FinCEN and the CCC, stated that she has not received any information from IPI’s finance department in five months.
“When I ask questions, I don’t get any response,” Ms. Decker told the commissioners yesterday. Without a CEO or CFO at IPI, she said, she did not know how to enforce her requests.
When the Chairman turned to Mr. Xing to “shed some light” on IPI’s compliance problems, Mr. Xing replied that he had no information. When the Chairman asked who was ultimately in charge at IPI, Mr. Xing said, there is no CEO or CFO, so “probably” the board.
Contact Rep. Sablan at : https://www.facebook.com/christinasablan