Former CNMI chief of parole Nick Reyes and co-defendant Chuilian Fu’s jury trial is set for January 13, 2025.

The co-defendants appeared in CNMI Superior Court before Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio Tuesday afternoon.

They face charges of misconduct in public office, conspiracy to commit theft by deception, and one count of theft by deception. Court filings detail the alleged activity in 2022 involving the “construction of a patio at the Parole Office purported to be constructed by a tailoring company owned by Chuilian Fu’s F&S Corporation, in the amount of $9,997.80, but actually constructed by uncompensated labor performed by parolees under the direction of Nick Masga Reyes.”

Reyes and Fu also waived their attorneys’ apparent conflicts in their representation. Reyes is represented by Attorney Joaquin Torres, whose brother is former Governor Ralph Torres and whose law firm has represented the former governor. Fu is represented by Attorney Anthony Aguon, who has also represented the former governor.

Judge Kim-Tenorio said, “The court does find that conflict is consentable and defendants can choose to waive the conflict.”

The judge explained that the government provided a signed statement indicating that Reyes told an officer “not to worry” about the patio “issue” because it was at the instruction of the former governor. The judge also told Fu that the government provided evidence of more than $600,000 of checks, many of which were from federal grants, from the CNMI Treasury to the F&S corporation while Torres was in office.

The judge also modified bail and instructed Fu to surrender his passport. He is also not allowed to apply for a new one until the case ends. The court found that Fu is a flight risk because his brother and business partner live in China, he is not a U.S. citizen, and has “large financial resources.”

Judge Kim-Tenorio said she expects the trial to take at least two weeks. Both parties declined to comment after the hearing.

In April, CNMI Superior Court Judge Joseph Camacho acquitted Nick Reyes of misconduct in public office and forgery in a separate case.