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IRS files claim against resort founder

Sat., Dec. 11, 2010, midnight

Edra Blixseth could owe up to $15.4 million

BILLINGS – The Internal Revenue Service on Friday filed a $15.4 million claim against Yellowstone Club co-founder Edra Blixseth for unpaid income taxes during the two years leading to the exclusive Montana resort’s bankruptcy.

The claim was filed in Blixseth’s personal bankruptcy case in Montana.

Blixseth, who lives in Rancho Mirage, Calif., ran the club south of Big Sky for much of the last decade with then-husband Tim Blixseth. The millionaires-only ski and golf resort counts Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and former Vice President Dan Quayle among its members.

Edra Blixseth took full control of the club after her 2008 divorce – just months before it fell more than $400 million into debt. She filed for personal bankruptcy in March 2009, and many of her assets have since been liquidated under court order.

Edra Blixseth told the Associated Press on Friday that she had not yet seen the IRS claim, which includes $14.8 million in taxes and interest and a $561,221 penalty.

It was not clear what the tax liability stems from. IRS spokeswoman Karen Connelly said federal disclosure laws prohibit the agency from commenting on individual taxpayers.

Tim and Edra Blixseth also owe Montana $57 million in taxes on money taken out of the Yellowstone Club and spent on luxury jets, cars and yachts that they wrote off as business expenses, according to state officials. With Edra Blixseth bankrupt, state officials have filed a warrant to go after Tim Blixseth’s assets to cover the debt.

The club emerged from bankruptcy when it was bought last year by Boston-based CrossHarbor Capital Partners for $115 million.

The FBI has been investigating Edra Blixseth’s financial activities, but so far no charges have been filed.

The probe has focused at least in part on a series of loans she took out in the months surrounding the club’s bankruptcy filing, according to court documents and attorneys familiar with the case.


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