Saipan casino Imperial Pacific loses CEO Mark Brown (again)


imperial-pacific-casino-mark-brown-ceo-resignsSaipan casino operator Imperial Pacific International (IPI) is looking for a new CEO to replace Mark Brown, who abruptly resigned this weekend.

On Tuesday, the Marianas Variety reported that Brown (pictured) had sent the Commonwealth Casino Commission (CCC) an email on Sunday saying he was resigning his role as IPI’s chief executive, effective immediately. CCC exec director Edward Deleon Guerrero said IPI’s search for Brown’s replacement was already underway.

Deleon Guerrero said he wasn’t at liberty to disclose the reason behind Brown’s resignation. Last month, Brown was a no-show at the CCC’s monthly meeting, leading CCC chair Juan Sablan to grumble that the CCC might “need to subpoena” Brown to ensure his attendance.

Brown was IPI’s original CEO but shed the mantle in early 2017 to become IPI’s chairman. One year later, Brown left the company entirely to “pursue other projects close to his family” on the US mainland, only to return in late 2018 as interim chairman and eventually resume the CEO role as well.

Brown’s most recent exit comes just one month after FBI agents raided IPI’s offices as part of a federal investigation into alleged wire fraud, money laundering and illegal campaign contributions involving Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Torres.

Brown isn’t the only senior IPI figure who’s recently announced his departure. Last week, IPI’s general counsel Philip Tydingco announced that December 13th would be his last day on the job. This week, local media announced that Tyndigco’s role would be filled by Joey Patrick San Nicolas, who served as CNMI attorney general from 2012 to 2014.

In addition to its legal woes, IPI continues to struggle to complete its Imperial Palace Resort amid perpetual labor shortages and conflicts with the workers it does have. The financially struggling operator has also been accused of shortchanging the CNMI government by unilaterally claiming ‘credits’ that exceeded what little tax IPI’s license obligates it to remit.