Famous treasure hunter and fugitive from the law Tommy Thompson was taken into custody by the US Marshals Service at a hotel in Palm Beach County Florida on Tuesday.
Thompson was arrested, along with his long-time companion Alison Antekeier, pursuant to a federal civil arrest warrant issued for him in 2012 for failing to show up to a key court hearing.
Almost since the discovery in 1988 of one of the richest shipwrecks in history, the SS Central America, Thompson has been embroiled in legal issues and controversy. According to sources close to the proceedings, the case centers around the 161 investors who funded Thompson to the tune of $12.7 million to find the “Ship of Gold” as it is now called. The claims by two investors, one deceased and the other, the Dispatch Printing Company, which publishes The Columbus Dispatch newspaper, accused Thompson of fraud and theft, although no criminal charges were ever filed.
However the legal battle was ongoing and after six years in seclusion, Thompson’s failure to appear before an Ohio judge prompted the arrest warrant. That was when Thompson just up and vanished, until yesterday.
CoinWeek will follow up with this story as new information comes to light.