Bankruptcy Judge Orders NMI Fund To Pay Legal Advisors

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Final dues allegedly enough to pay 96 retirees’ annual pensions

By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Aug. 1, 2012) – U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert J. Faris has ordered the immediate payment of $577,671.73 to the professionals engaged in the Retirement Fund’s failed Chapter 11 petition.

Faris finalized his order on the first interim and final application for fees filed by Brown Rudnick LLP, Law Office of Braddock J. Huesman, Gelber Gelber & Ingersoll (GG&I), Attorney Colin Thompson and the creditors committee.

In his written order on July 27, Faris approved $73,975.46 in compensation and $947.87 in reimbursement for the Honolulu-based GG&I.

Faris ordered the Fund to pay the firm immediately and in full amount.

GG&I’s local counterpart, Attorney Colin Thompson, is to be immediately paid $2,342.50 in full by the Fund.

Members of the creditors committee will be paid $336.90 as reimbursement for expenses incurred.

Faris noted that there is no just reason for the delay in the satisfaction of the final judgment pursuant to Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 9014 and 7054 and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54 (b).

In another batch of orders entered on July 30, the debtor is also asked by Faris to pay Huesman the sum of $11,247 in fees and expenses covering his services from April 17 to June 13.

Boston-based firm Brown Rudnick LLP, despite the CNMI government’s objection, will be paid the sum of $488,822 for services from petition date to June 13.

This does not include the $250,000 in advance retainer already paid to Brown Rudnick.

Faris also asked all professionals to confirm with the Office of the U.S. Trustee receipt of payment from the Fund.

While Faris approved the compensation and reimbursement sought by the professionals, he denied the $378,010 in pensions asked by retiree Jack Angello.

As of yesterday, there was no written order entered yet to compensate the Office of the U.S. Trustee in the amount of $14,950.

A source told Variety that the total compensation and reimbursement sought by the professionals would be enough to pay 96 retirees receiving $6,000 in annual pensions.

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