BILLINGS – A federal judge on Monday denied real estate mogul Tim Blixseth's request to get out of the Missoula County jail after the Yellowstone Club founder was found in contempt of court over his sale of a Mexico resort.
Blixseth attorney Philip Stillman said he would file a petition with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking for his client to be freed before Christmas.
Blixseth, 64, has been in the jail since Thursday. U.S. District Judge Haddon said the former billionaire wouldn't be released until he fully accounts for the $13.8 million he received from the 2011 sale of a property in Mexico.
Blixseth sold the property in defiance of a court order. Haddon first demanded answers on where the money went in February.
Stillman told the Associated Press that Blixseth has tried to comply with Haddon's demands by giving up hundreds of pages of bank records and offering court testimony.
"I really don't know what it is the court wants. At least say, 'That's not the form I want it in, put it in this form,'" Stillman said. "That's no reason to throw a guy in jail."
Haddon turned down the request to put Blixseth's incarceration on hold during a teleconference Monday with Blixseth's lawyers and creditors from the Yellowstone Club's 2008 bankruptcy.
Blixseth claims he no longer has the money he received from the sale of the resort known as Tamarindo, which included hotels and condominiums in the state of Jalisco. He originally paid $40 million for the property.
Blixseth also contends that he can't retrieve documents related to the sale because they're in Mexico.
Creditors are trying to collect on $241 million in judgments against Blixseth stemming from the Yellowstone Club's bankruptcy. The club is now under new ownership.
They've previously said Blixseth's attempt to explain where the money went amounted to an incomplete "document dump," including hundreds of pages of untranslated bank documents in Spanish.
Blixseth, who resides in Washington state, founded the Yellowstone Club with his then-wife, Edra Blixseth, in the late 1990s. It spiraled into bankruptcy soon after he gave up control of the members-only ski and golf resort as part of the couple's 2008 divorce.
State tax authorities say Blixseth owes $57 million from unpaid taxes on a $375 million loan to the club that Tim and Edra Blixseth largely diverted for their personal use.