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How to Lose $1 Billion

Blixseth was featured in the Forbes 400 List of wealthiest Americans with a net worth of $1.3 billion. What has happened since…?

Tim Blixseth

Tim Blixseth grew up poor in Oregon, eating Spam five times a week, he recalls.

He went on to become a millionaire Northwest timber baron, then ended up in bankruptcy, $15 million in debt.

But he came roaring back with more timber deals, becoming a millionaire again, then turned to real estate, and became a billionaire – only to once again wind up in bankruptcy.

In large part he blamed the 2008 mortgage collapse for undermining his biggest project, a Montana resort whose failure would eventually send him to jail last year on civil contempt charges.

It was rock bottom, it seemed, for the man who had been one of America’s richest – worth $1.3 billion in 2006, according to Forbes – and traveled the West in his Rolls-Royce and private jet.

In the last decade, when not being sued, Blixseth sued others, including Edra Crocker, his former wife. In one case, he sought $6 billion in damages, contending that Crocker and others had participated in a racketeering conspiracy against him. Crocker, though,  claimed it was Blixseth who had “looted the companies and taken the cash.” Blixseth also sued one of his attorneys who he alleged had conspired against him, and filed a $9-billion suit against a bankruptcy trustee. The efforts failed.

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