Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, the operator of a casino on Saipan, has filed a motion asking the US District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a former junket partner seeking the return of US$352,000 in deposits.
According to The Saipan Tribune, IPI has sought the court to dismiss BigBang Entertainment LLC's claims, which were licenced to perform junket activities from August 2019 to August 2021, on the grounds that it has failed to articulate a claim upon which relief can be given.
Big Bang asserts a violation of fiduciary responsibility, which IPI expressly denies, as well as breach of contract, sum certain, conversion by demand and refusal, non-gratuitous bailment, and unjust enrichment.
According to IPI's counsel Matthew Holley, BigBang failed to allege specific facts to support its allegations of violation of fiduciary duty.
“Accordingly, the court should dismiss BigBang’s fifth cause of action; negligent breach of fiduciary duty,” the motion reads.
“BigBang’s fifth cause of action is based entirely on the existence of a fiduciary relationship between BigBang and IPI. As explained, general common law, as followed by the Commonwealth, does not recognize a fiduciary relationship between a casino operator and a junket operator without an explicit agreement by IPI to act as a fiduciary for the benefit of BigBang, either in the junket agreement or any other agreement between the parties.
“On its face, therefore, BigBang’s fifth cause of action, negligent breach of fiduciary duty, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Similarly, the court should dismiss BigBang’s sixth cause of action, intentional breach of fiduciary duty.”
BigBang claims that in September 2016, it entered into a junket deal with IPI under which the junket would market IPI's casino - Imperial Palace on Saipan - and introduce VIP clientele.
BigBang then deposited front money into the casino cage at various occasions, with the cage containing about US$352,000 from BigBang's deposits as of early 2020.
However, because to the COVID-19 epidemic, IPI's casino was ordered stopped on March 16, 2020, with BigBang later asking a repayment of the full US$352,000 amount held by IPI.
BigBang's lawsuit claims that IPI never responded to any of the junket's demands and never returned the money.
By fLEXI tEAM