Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth stayed on the attack Thursday as lawyers and accountants debated over who knew what — and when — during the financial collapse of the ultra-exclusive alpine getaway for the rich and famous. Nearly $300 million of Blixseth's personal fortune is at stake — just a piece of one of the biggest bankruptcy cases ever to roll through Montana, as the best experts money can buy bat t led in a packed Missoula bankruptcy court. Banking giant Credi t Suisse is accused of pushing a $375 million loan the club had no hope of repaying while "lining its pockets" with fees. Creditors said Blixseth is guilty of "looting" $286 million of it for his own use, even as he knew bankruptcy loomed. There didn't appear to be many innocent parties left digging through the debris and dirty laundry of the former billion- dollar empire's financial ashes. Blixseth came from the timber business to build a real estate empire that stretched around the world and catered to the likes of Microsoft Corp. cofounder Bill Gates and former Vice President Dan Quayle. He thrashed "Predator Suisse" and the club's new owners for picking on him with legal tricks. Blixseth said that Credit Suisse promised him there would be no personal obligation to him if the club took the big loan. And he said Bostonbased CrossHarbor Capital Partners is simply trying to make more money by buying up the debt out of bankruptcy in order to pursue Blixseth personally. His lawyers have argued that Credit Suisse stacked the bankruptcy trustee board with insiders in order to focus the attack on Blixseth. "It may be legal, but it's sneaky," Blixseth said standing outside the courtroom during a break. Testimony focused on whether bankruptcy loomed as Credit Suisse offered the loan and Blixseth transferred money from the club to other assets.
Billionaire stands ground in trial
Published: Friday, February 26th, 2010
Click Here To See More Stories Like This