07 May 2018
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
LIEUTENANT Gov. Victor B. Hocog maintains that he played no role in the failed MV Luta venture.
Businessman Takahisa Yamamoto of Japan, who invested $3 million in the cargo vessel, later sued its registered owners and Hocog for fraud, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
Recently, Yamamoto asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit against Luta Mermaid LLC, Abelina T. Mendiola, Deron T. Mendiola, Fidel S. Mendiola III, Fidel Mendiola Jr. and Hocog.
In his lawsuit, the investor said it was Hocog who introduced him to the Mendiolas. Yamamoto said he also relied Hocog’s assurances and promises when he agreed to invest in the venture.
Hocog said he was willing to testify on the stand. “I want to show everyone that I had nothing to do with the business venture, other than bringing the parties to former Gov. Eloy Inos regarding their plan to provide a sea-transport service to the island of Rota.”
Hocog said he wasn’t involved in any settlement negotiations between the parties in the lawsuit either.
He said he will meet with his attorney to discuss the lawsuit’s dismissal.
“I want to be briefed — what made Yamamoto dismiss the case after several months of uncertainty. I was just shocked, and I was surprised to find out about the dismissal.”
Hocog said he is considering filing his own lawsuit against Yamamoto.
Hocog and the Mendiolas are represented by attorney William M. Fitzgerald while Yamamoto’s lawyer is George Hasselback.
Counter-claims against Yamamoto were filed by the MV Luta owners alleging breach of fiduciary duty and violation of good faith and fair dealing.
The MV Luta registered owners in their counterclaims requested that the District Court for the NMI grant them an award for damages “for the fraudulent, malicious and intentional conduct” of Yamamoto.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/104225-hocog-i-have-nothing-to-do-with-mv-luta