Record fine paid
Gaming operator Tinian Dynasty, located on Tinian in the Northern Marianas Islands, has agreed to pay $3.04 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department of the United States.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino has agreed to the multimillion-dollar fine—the largest penalty ever levied by the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network—as part of a non-prosecution agreement. The Northern Mariana Islands, north of Guam, comprise one of two U.S. commonwealths; Puerto Rico is the other.
In June, FinCEN levied a $75 million civil fine on the operator for “willful and egregious” violations of anti-money-laundering rules.
The Journal reports that the settlement coincides with renewed interest in Tinian and the Northern Marianas due to the ongoing slump in Macau. Tinian Dynasty has backing from Macau’s VIP junkets, according to Journal sources, and Macau junket operator Heng Sheng is investing in Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings’ plans for a $7 billion casino project in Saipan, another island in the commonwealth.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation unit found that, from 2009 to 2013, the island casino failed to file more than 3,600 required reports for currency transactions over $10,000, the total value of which was around $138 million, according to court documents.
Tinian Dynasty is owned by Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Investments Ltd. Hong Kong-listed Chinese Strategic Holdings Ltd.
Last August, FinCEN fined former Tinian Dynasty executive George Que $5,000 for allegedly helping high rollers avert anti-money-laundering rules. FinCEN said the Que admitted his part in the matter.