A Charleston attorney is receiving national attention for an unconventional approach in trying to track down possible assets of the founder of a luxury resort.
Brian Glasser, of the firm Bailey & Glasser LLP, is offering a reward to anyone who can uncover property or bank accounts of Tim Blixseth, the founder of Yellowstone Club, the world’s only private ski resort community.
Glasser will give 10 percent of any profits of the liquidated assets recovered from Blixseth to anyone who provides information that leads to their discovery.
Glasser, 47, is serving as trustee for the bankruptcy estate. He admitted his idea is unusual, but is hopeful it will work.
“You can’t move money or property without the help of others,” Glasser told the Gazette on Thursday. “I think it’s a logical way to track it down.”
In an email to the Associated Press, Blixseth dismissed the reward as a sign of desperation ahead of a federal appellate court’s ruling on the Yellowstone Club bankruptcy and other appeals that Blixseth said could eliminate the creditors’ claims.
“So, I will better their ‘bounty offer,”’ Blixseth said in the email from his Seattle home. “I will offer [a] 50 percent reward to anyone who can find any hidden assets of mine.”
Blixseth said the goal of the liquidating trust is to redirect attention from the creditors’ wrongdoing in the case. The trust aims to “ransack me and my financial ability to so badly I would give up and be bludgeoned into ineffectiveness in my pursuit of justice,” he said.
In June, a federal judge in California issued a $200 million civil judgment against Blixseth for fraudulently transferring money from the resort, according to the AP. In April, a federal judge in Montana ordered Blixseth to pay his creditors $41 million.
Blixseth was held in contempt and attorneys called for his arrest after he sold his Tamarindo resort in Mexico in 2011. A judge ordered him to pay about $13 million.
The selling of that property is what gave Glasser the idea to offer a reward.
“We’re just now starting collection proceedings,” Glasser said. “Mr. Blixseth claims he doesn’t have the money anymore. I don’t believe it’s true, so I’m appealing to the public to help find out where the money went, and I’m giving a financial incentive to do that.”
Glasser competed against other attorneys to land the position as trustee in the case. He thinks his trial experience is what made him stand out.
“More cases go to trial in West Virginia than elsewhere around the country,” he said, “and that experience of taking cases to trial and winning them separates [my firm] from the competition.”
After going to West Virginia University, Glasser went to Oxford and Harvard universities. He was born and raised in Charleston.
“Here’s this firm in West Virginia, and now we have cases pending in 35 different states for various clients. We’re trying to become more of a national law firm. All you need is a computer and an airplane,” he said with a laugh.
Reach Kate White at email@example.com, 304-348-1723 or @KateLWhite on Twitter.