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AG implies gambling lords took federal Covid-19 funds under false pretenses

By Johnnie Rosario

Guam Music Inc. (GMI) wants the Superior Court to allow it to continue its gambling activities, but Attorney General Leevin Camacho says the company has not offered "even a scintilla of proof" to support any of its reasons for the court to let that happen.

Mr. Camacho, in a filing in court today, also implied GMI fraudulently applied for and received federal Covid-19 funding.

On March 13, 2020, the day before the public health emergency began, Judge Arthur Barcinas ruled that the operation of gambling machines mainly found in gamerooms throughout the island was illegal because the so-called rules governing those operations were invalid. He issued the written order on March 16, the week Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero issued shut down orders.

The judgment was entered on the docket on June 3, 2020, and GMI appealed it five days later. On that same day, GMI requested the court to stay the execution of judgment pending its appeal, meaning the company wanted to continue operating the gambling machines while it was appealing the judge's decision. In its reasons to justify the stay, GMI says the company will suffer irreparable harm if it is not allowed to reopen.

"GMI represents that it has taken advantage of federal Covid-19 programs. GMI alleges that it will not receive loan forgiveness if the judgment is not stayed. GMI, however, does not elaborate on the consequences. It is also unclear from the pleadings whether GMI applied for Covid-19 programs after this court issued its decision. If it did, GMI knew that this court had declared the gaming rules and regulations invalid and knew about the risk it was facing in applying for the programs. Following the terms of the program that GMI agreed to is not an irreparable injury. Atlas states that the harm will come when Covid restrictions are relaxed. But the relaxation of restrictions is not timed for a definite date, which further contributes to the speculative nature of the defendants' assertions." - AG's opposition filing to GMI's request for stay of judgment

Mr. Barcinas's judgment barring the operation of gambling machines happened March 13. The federal law creating the federal Covid-19 funding that GMI represented it had acquired did not become law until March 27 - after the company knew about the judgment.

Guam Music Inc. has largely been owned, run, or abetted by Lauren Bromley, and Gil and Connie Jo Brennan Shinohara; all of whom have been major financial contributors to several elected officials. Ms. Shinohara was the campaign manager and later seaport deputy manager for Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.

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