The Montana Supreme Court has reversed a lower court and ruled that a Montana construction company can either collect a debt or foreclose on a high-end guest ranch involved in a decade-long financial fight.

The high court on Tuesday ruled that the owner of Paws Up used a "shell" corporation to try to avoid paying Helena-based Dick Anderson Construction.

Paws Up is owned by Monroe Property Co., which is controlled by David Lipson, the former CEO of the haircut chain Supercuts.

In 2001 Anderson filed a lawsuit seeking to collect the final $800,000 on the $10 million project. Arbitrators awarded Anderson about $1.4 million in 2005 in damages, interest and attorney's fees.

Associated Press