HELENA, Montana — A federal judge said he will require Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth to account for what happened to $13.8 million he received from the sale of a Mexico resort in violation of a bankruptcy court order, no matter how long it takes.
U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon made the comment Friday in Helena during a status conference in Blixseth's contempt of court case.
Haddon plans a hearing on whether Blixseth is able to provide any more information and whether continuing to jail him would coerce him to do so. Blixseth has been jailed since April 2015.
But the judge said he needed to determine if he should wait for an appeals court decision on a related matter. A date for a hearing wasn't immediately set.
"I want to assure you that if Blixseth has the capacity to get the records and produce them to this court, he will be obliged," Haddon said, adding that he will not accept "I don't have the records" as an excuse.
Blixseth's lawyer, Paul Brain, said Blixseth didn't have control of some of the records, including the bank statements of his third wife, Jessica.
"There's a divorce proceeding pending," Brain said.
Haddon countered that Blixseth could subpoena the records, hold a deposition or take advantage of other court processes.
The Yellowstone Club near Big Sky went bankrupt after Blixseth kept most of a $375 million Credit Suisse loan to the resort. He later gave up control of the enterprise to his ex-wife during their 2008 divorce.
Creditors of the Yellowstone Club have civil judgments against Blixseth for more than $250 million. They argue Blixseth used complex real estate deals to hide some money and transferred wealth to relatives.
Blixseth was found in contempt of court in December 2013 for selling the Tamarindo Resort in violation of a bankruptcy court order.
In February 2014, Haddon ordered Blixseth to provide bank statements, checks and other documentation relating to the sale of the resort and where the money went. Haddon has found repeatedly that Blixseth has not complied with the order.