Creditors go after jailed real estate mogul's wife

AP News
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Posted: Dec 23, 2014 7:31 PM
Creditors go after jailed real estate mogul's wife

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Creditors of jailed real estate mogul Tim Blixseth are asking a federal judge in Washington state to find the onetime billionaire's wife in contempt of court as they try to chase down his far-flung assets.

Creditors' trustee Brian Glasser said Tuesday that Jessica Blixseth unlawfully transferred more than $1 million from the sale of a 156-foot luxury yacht to her mother and other entities.

Some of the money was moved after U.S. District Judge Richard Jones imposed a temporary restraining order barring such transfers, Glasser said.

Jessica Blixseth's attorney in Washington, Paul Brain, said he was reviewing the trustee's allegations and had not yet consulted with his client on the matter. He declined to comment further.

Glasser represents the remaining creditors from the 2008 bankruptcy of the Yellowstone Club, a Montana resort founded by Tim Blixseth in the 1990s.

Tim Blixseth has been in a Montana jail since last week after failing to meet a court order to account for the proceeds from another property sale involving a Mexico resort.

His lawyers on Friday filed an emergency motion with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals seeking his immediate release.

Creditors have suggested he's trying to hide the $13.8 million in proceeds from the Mexico property sale. Tim Blixseth has insisted the money is gone

Similar allegations have surfaced in the Washington state case, which involves the sale of a luxury yacht known as the Piano Bar.

Attorneys for Glasser and the creditors said Jessica Blixseth began transferring money from the yacht sale out of her bank account Oct. 14.

The same day, the creditors filed a lawsuit alleging Tim Blixseth illicitly transferred money to Jessica in an attempt to avoid paying off a pair of civil fraud judgments against him for $241 million.

By the end of the month, Jessica Blixseth's account balance dropped from more than $1 million to just $19,650, according to court documents filed by the creditors.

The movement of money included $600,000 in wire transfers to Jessica Blixseth's mother, Cherrill B. Ferguson, the creditors said. Ferguson will be named as a defendant at a later date, they said.

Ferguson could not be reached for comment.

On Oct. 22, Jones granted a temporary restraining order that blocked any transfer of the money from the yacht sale.