BILLINGS -- Former Yellowstone Club owner Tim Blixseth has filed a federal lawsuit in Massachusetts seeking the identity of a blogger he alleges posted a death threat against him.
Blixseth and his former wife, Edra, diverted for their own use hundreds of millions of dollars from a loan intended for the club, helping propel it into bankruptcy.
Following a report on Feb. 9 that Tim Blixseth may try to buy back the club, a blogger identified as "Sharkbait" commented, "I am very suprised one of you so called friends have not put some lead between you eyes."
Online news outlet New West, which posted the comment then later pulled it down, e-mailed Sharkbait's posting to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Tim Blixseth's suit asks a federal judge to force Bresnan Communications to give up the name of Sharkbait, who posted the comment Feb. 9 on the newwest.net site.
Bresnan is Sharkbait's Internet service provider. Company spokesman Shawn Beqaj says the company has no comment.
New West publisher Jonathan Weber has been covering the Yellowstone Club's federal bankruptcy proceedings for the news outlet. He said Tuesday that he had provided federal law enforcement officials with Sharkbait's internet protocol number -- which could indicate from what computer the comment originated.
Weber said he has since learned the identity of Sharkbait, but would not divulge it because he said there did not appear to be a real threat to Tim Blixseth.
"By our own reading of the comment and additional information we've obtained since then, combined with the fact that we've had no (additional) contact with law enforcement, leads us to believe it's no threat," Weber said.
Blixseth lawyer Michael Flynn said the matter was being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. FBI officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
"Even though it's in the third person, the threat is there and the threat is real," Flynn said.
Edra Blixseth gained control of the 13,600-acre resort for the megarich last year as part of the couple's divorce settlement. She is now attempting to sell it for $100 million to Boston-based investment firm CrossHarbor Capital.
CrossHarbor managing partner Sam Byrne struck a deal with Tim Blixseth in early 2008 to buy the club for $470 million, but the sale later fell through.