03 May 2018
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
JUDGE Kenneth Govendo on Tuesday issued a bench warrant for a businesswoman who failed to appear in Superior Court for her sentencing that was first scheduled more than 10 years ago.
Following a bench trial in Aug. 2007, Li Dong Gui was found guilty of employment of illegal aliens, unlawful employment by an alien, and illegal subcontract employment.
Her sentencing hearing was scheduled for Nov. 6, 2007.
Assistant Attorney General Robert Glass Jr. said prior to the sentencing hearing, the parties submitted a stipulation for off-island travel to allow the defendant to seek medical treatment in China with a return date to the CNMI no later than Nov. 5, 2007.
After the defendant failed to return to the CNMI, the court granted another stipulation to continue sentencing on Oct. 2, 2008. But the defendant again failed to appear for sentencing.
The court then took the matter off calendar pending the defendant’s return to the CNMI, and instructed the Office of the Attorney General to notify the court when defendant was back in the commonwealth.
Since then, Glass said no hearings had been scheduled.
On Jan. 11, 2018, Glass requested a sentencing hearing or status conference, believing the defendant had returned to the CNMI.
On April 11, 2018, the court held a status conference, but the defendant and her lawyer, Loren Sutton, did not appear.
Judge Govendo issued a minute order after the hearing and excused Sutton from further representing Li.
The order further stated that the defendant could be found at the Green Consume Store, south of McDonald’s on Middle Road. The judge ordered the parties to appear for the status conference set for May 1, 2018, but the defendant did not show up.
At the hearing, it was pointed out that Li had been traveling back and forth between Saipan and China.
In 2014, Green Consume was cited for importing illegal pesticides from China hidden in a five-gallon container. Li was said to be the importer.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/104148-bench-warrant-issued-for-businesswoman