A final administrative action on Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino‘s forfeiture of $2.5 million was announced this week by the U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
U.S. Attorney Alicia Limtiaco said, “This forfeiture is the culmination of a year-long investigation. The persistent and dedicated efforts of IRS criminal investigators were instrumental in recovering these funds,” noted the agency spokesman. “The IRS Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Justice will continue to partner together to ensure casinos, financial institutions, and businesses comply with the requirements of federal law and other financial regulations.”
A release to the press said that the forfeiture is the largest ever by the U.S. in Northern Marianas history.
On December 18th Clerk of court Heather L. Kennedy, for the U.S. District Court in the Northern Mariana Islands granted a request by Assistant U.S. attorney Russell H. Lorfing to issue a default judgement against Tinian Dynasty as they had failed to contest the forfeiture action.
The judgement comes as the result of a settlement dropping over 100 criminal charges including conspiracy stemming from the casinos former owners lax money laundering controls and not reporting suspicious transactions. The U.S. can go forward with the criminal charges, suspended last summer, if it finds that Tinian Dynasty does not remain in full compliance with the agreement, including full cooperation on any ongoing criminal investigations as well as reporting and other regulatory requirements.
Tinian Dynasty failed to document more than 3,000 separate instances total over $138 million in cash transactions that should have been reported under U.S. banking laws between Oct. 1, 2009 and April 25, 2013. A sting operation was conducted as part of the investigation. Last June, the U.S. District Court for the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands ruled that the U.S. Treasury has authority to regulate in the Commonwealth and that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) can enforce anti-money laundering laws in the jurisdiction. The settlement was then reached in July.
The Tinian Dynasty Casino remains closed in the midst of bankruptcy try and is awaiting final approval of management operations from the Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission while several other major casino resort properties are under development there.