The problems for Imperial Pacific International (IPI) and its executives do not seem to end. Its last CEO Donald Browne surely believed that with the resignation of the position the risks of going to prison would cease, but nothing more wrong.
For six months, Browne was the CEO of IPI, which runs the Imperial Palace casino in Saipan. But last december he presented his resignation from the company’s board of directors.
However, investigations, public ridicule and criticism for the performance of the casino operator continue, due to its errors and administrative mistakes. The threats that Browne could be taken to jail grow every day.
How IPI has been operating in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is now under scrutiny by the US Department of Labor (DOL). The federal agency is following in the footsteps of the former IPI CEO and the rest of the company’s executives.
For next thursday the appearance of Browne and the president of the IPI, Cui Li Jie, before the main judge of CNMI, Ramona Manglona, is scheduled. The court issued an order for the two to come forward and testify about the repeated IPI scandals.
If they do not appear, the court could immediately issue an arrest warrant for both of them. With the DOL behind the fouls and shady deals of the operator, things seem to have taken another turn.
IPI executives have been accused by the DOL of forcing company employees to work during the pandemic without pay and for long periods, which it has described as a “humanitarian crisis”
It also accuses them of not providing workers with even basic necessities. The federal agency considers that the IPI acted negligently by leaving several of its employees stranded and unable to return to their countries of origin.
In the DOL’s opinion, both Browne and Cui and the company have already been in contempt by failing to adequately comply with a previous judgment issued by the court dated April 11, 2019.
Despite Laza Ramona’s constant calls for the directors and the IPI to assume a more responsible behavior, everything has been in vain.
In his discharge, Browne has said that he is not responsible for the management of IPI because he is no longer the CEO, but his argument does not seem to have a foundation. Perhaps he could get relief for having had a gray role in IPI as a figurehead for the sole purpose of calming regulators.
His argument that he were unaware of the april 2019 court order will be of no use to him. Before agreeing to be the CEO of IPI, Browne served as the company’s head of security. It does not seem reasonable that at that time he was not aware of what was happening in the company.