Tamarack, Yellowstone Founders Want In on $2.5-Billion Suit

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SAM Magazine-Boise, Idaho, July 26, 2011-Resort founders Alfredo Miguel of Tamarack Resort, Idaho, and Tim Blixseth of the Yellowstone Club, Mont., are hoping to recoup money lost at their failed resorts from lender Credit Suisse Group. The two men hope to join a $2.5 billion suit claiming that Credit Suisse engaged in predatory lending.

The original lawsuit claims Credit Suisse set up an offshore branch to skirt U.S. rules, appraise resorts at inflated prices, provide loans the properties could not repay, and then gain control of the resorts through foreclosure. Property owners at Tamarack, Yellowstone Club, Lake Las Vegas resort, Nevada, and the Ginn Sur Mer Resort, Bahamas, launched the original suit.

Miguel and Blixseth claim that fraudulent appraisals led to bloated loans that were doomed to fail. Credit Suisse, they argue, protected itself by syndicating the loans, reducing its stake but earning sizable commissions.

In a statement, Credit Suisse declared the charges baseless, and accused Blixseth in particular of trying to shift blame for a series of poor deals he made. It's not an unreasonable argument; in 2010, a federal judge ordered Blixseth to pay $40 million for causing the collapse of Yellowstone Club via a series of fraudulent deals.