CNMI Lawsuit Against Swift Air Executives Settled

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Court dismisses racketeering suit brought by Saipan Air

By Ferdie De La Torre

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Feb. 10, 2015) – U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona dismissed yesterday with prejudice Saipan Air’s $12.5-million lawsuit against Swift Air executives Jeffry Conry and Boris Van Lier.

Manglona issued the order after Saipan Air, Conry, and Van Lier filed in court a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice, which means the lawsuit cannot be re-opened.

As agreed by the parties, the judge said the court retains jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the confidential agreement.

The parties, through their respective counsels, recently informed the court that they have reached a confidential deal.

The amount of the settlement was undisclosed.

The jury trial against Conry and Van Lier relating to Saipan Air’s fraud claims was supposed to start last week.

Saipan Air originally filed in July 2012 a $50-million racketeering lawsuit against Conry, Van Lier, and Swift Air’s then chief restructuring officer Donald Stukes over their failure to deliver three aircraft for Saipan Air’s program.

The court allowed Saipan Air’s fraud claims against Conry and Van Lier to go through, but dismissed the claims of racketeering and unjust enrichment against the three executives.

In its amended complaint for fraud claims against Conry and Van Lier, Saipan Air sought $2.5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.

Swift Air filed for bankruptcy protection in Arizona shortly after notifying Saipan Air that it would not deliver two 757 aircraft and one 737 aircraft for Saipan Air’s program.

Conry and Van Lier are currently employed by Arizona-based Swift Air, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2013.

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