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Ramon Salas dismissed as defendant in RICO lawsuit

THE federal court on Thursday dismissed a Department of Public Lands official from a racketeering lawsuit filed by a businessman.

District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona granted the summary judgment motion of Ramon S. Salas who denied all the allegations in the lawsuit.

On June 6, 2016, KSA Corporation and Il Hwan Kim filed a complaint against Hun Jin An and wife Joann P. Hensley, Jeong Eun Taek, former Secretary of the Department of Public Lands Oscar M. Babauta and DPL employee Ramon S. Salas, all in their personal capacities, and 10 other John Does for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations or RICO Act of 1970.

The plaintiffs said from Dec. 2006 to April 2014 the defendants conspired to steal millions of dollars from the plaintiffs through wire fraud, mail fraud, forgery, theft, and extortion in connection with the alleged establishment of the plaintiff’s hotel resort on Saipan.

Judge Manglona, in her ruling, stated that the plaintiffs have failed to show that there is a question of material fact as to whether Salas participated in a pattern of racketeering.

An element of a RICO claim is that the defendant must engage in a pattern of racketeering, the judge said.

As for the demands for payment allegedly made by Salas, the court found the allegation contradicted by the documentary evidence.

Judge Manglona likewise noted that the plaintiffs failed to raise a question of material fact as to whether Salas conspired with the other defendants.

As for the fraud and aiding and abetting fraud claims, Judge Manglona said she found no merit to the claims, adding that fraud claims must be pled with particularity.

In September, Judge Manglona dismissed all claims against former DPL Secretary Oscar M. Babauta.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/101267-ramon-salas-dismissed-as-defendant-in-rico-lawsuit

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