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May 2, 2016

Ex-billionaire invokes right to remain silent

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The jailed founder of a Montana club for the ultrarich said he won't answer a judge's demands to reveal what happened to hundreds of millions of dollars in assets he drained from the resort prior to its bankruptcy.

Yellowstone Club founder Timothy Blixseth invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination in court documents filed Thursday. Simultaneously, Blixseth declared bankruptcy in federal court in California for a financial trust that his creditors allege was used to hide his assets.

Courts have ruled Blixseth fraudulently transferred $286 million from the Yellowstone Club prior to its 2008 bankruptcy.

Blixseth has been in jail for a year for contempt of court under an order from U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon, but he has not been criminally charged. His attorneys have repeatedly asked the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals to free Blixseth but with no success.

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