BILLINGS, Mont. -

Montana tax authorities and former billionaire Tim Blixseth head to federal court this week as the luxury real estate mogul seeks to fend off the state's attempt to recover $57 million in back taxes the state says he owes.
    
Two days of hearings are scheduled to begin Thursday in Las Vegas. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Bruce Markell will decide if the Montana Department of Revenue can push ahead with its attempt to force Blixseth into bankruptcy.
    
The state maintains Blixseth, a resident of Washington state, owes the hefty tax bill on a 2005 loan he diverted from the Yellowstone Club. That's the luxury ski and golf resort Blixseth founded near Yellowstone National Park.
    
Blixseth has said the state's pursuit of him is politically motivated and legally flawed. He wants the case dismissed.