Last Friday, Assistant U.S. attorney Russell H. Lorfing requested that the U.S. District Court for the NMI issue a default judgement against Tinian Dynasty as they had failed to contest a forfeiture action on $2.5 million. Clerk of court Heather L. Kennedy, for the U.S. District Court in the Northern Mariana Islands granted the request.
The forfeiture is part of a more than $3 million settlement of a criminal case against the casino involving conspiracy and more than one hundred violations of anti-money laundering statues.
In an affidavit, Lorfing advised the court that no one has appeared to defend the funds and no one contested the action. The government was in possession of a financial instrument tendered in July by Tinian Dynasty owner, Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd. (HKE) as part of an agreement that averted criminal prosecution.
HKE is under new ownership, and the new owners agreed to the pay out. Criminal charges were dropped in July at the request of the U.S. government.
In related news, Tinian Dynasty says that all fees have been paid to the government to satisfy conditions of their postponed re-opening and that all other conditions set by Tinian Casino Gaming Control Commission executive director Lucy Blanco-Maratita.
The casino was set to re-open on December 15th but HKE filed for bankruptcy, listing liabilities of nearly five times their assets. The casino plans to re-open but not all conditions have been met as of press time. Blanco-Maratita told local media she was still awaiting a signed contract from Spectrum Gaming stating that they will be on island and in control of casino operations before the doors are opened.