Bloomberg News

Cushman & Wakefield, Credit Suisse Sued by Tim Blixseth

February 19, 2012

(Updates with bank statement in eighth paragraph.)

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Cushman & Wakefield Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG were sued by developer Tim Blixseth, the founder of the luxury Yellowstone Club resort in Montana, who seeks $2 billion in damages that he says were caused by fraudulent property appraisals.

Blixseth claims Credit Swiss made “predatory” loans based on inflated appraisals by Cushman Wakefield of the Yellowstone property so it could take over the resort when the debts couldn’t be repaid, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Denver.

The resort borrowed $375 million from Credit Suisse in September 2005 and sought bankruptcy protection in November 2008. The Zurich-based bank retained the right to collect on the loan after the resort’s purchase by CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC was approved.

Blixseth alleged he was tricked into receiving $209 million of the original loan based on an inflated appraisal. He says he used the money to expand the Yellowstone brand name worldwide to pay back the loan.

Credit Suisse, through the resort’s reorganization plan, sought to collect on the loan in violation of credit agreements, according to Blixseth’s complaint. He says he lost $1 billion in projected cash flow from Yellowstone and more than $800 million in equity and liability for loans.

The complaint includes claims for fraud, racketeering and negligence.

Similar Lawsuit

Blixseth has asked a federal judge in Idaho to allow him to intervene in a similar lawsuit filed by his son and other property owners against Cushman and Credit Suisse. The judge hasn’t yet ruled.

“This most recent lawsuit by Mr. Blixseth again claiming that he was deceived into taking millions of dollars of loans for his personal use is no more credible than his prior claims,” Credit Suisse said in an e-mailed statement. “Many of these same claims have already been unsuccessful in other courts and we will continue to seek dismissal of these meritless lawsuits.”

Dwayne Doherty, spokesman for Cushman & Wakefield, declined to comment on the new complaint.

The case is Blixseth v Cushman & Wakefield, 12-393, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado (Denver).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, David Glovin

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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