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IPI staff suffer electricity cut as another lawsuit hits the firm

The existential woes of Imperial Pacific International deepened even further this week as Saipan’s utility cut electricity services to its staff housing units over nonpayment of bills and a New York-based firm launched another lawsuit against the firm.

In regard to the power cut, IPI Vice President Tao Xing issued an internal memorandum noting that "We regret that, during the current state of challenges we face, power to the employee housing properties [has] been disconnected."

The power cut is also jeopardizing IPI employees’ access to safe water supplies.

CNMI Representative Tina Sablan commented, "We are still in a public health emergency, and hundreds of employees and their families living in intolerable conditions in multiple company housing areas is a concern for our entire community. I urge the casino commission to take all necessary action to ensure that the immediate problem of utility disconnections and unsanitary conditions at IPI housing is addressed as soon as possible."

Meanwhile, the Sardini Group, an engineering firm based in New York, has filed a lawsuit against IPI in federal court for breach of services contract in the amount of more than US$1.9 million, alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

IPI had reportedly hired Sardini to produce engineering designs for the construction of the Imperial Pacific Resort and Casino in Garapan, but ultimately paid only US$100,000 of the total bill of US$2 million that was due.

IPI is facing multiple lawsuits in federal court, including pending cases filed by Pacific Rim Land Development, U.S.A. Fanter Corporation, and seven China-based former employees.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the US Treasury Department has also recently notified troubled IPI about apparent violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.

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