Legal Case

Treasure hunter Tommy Thompson to forfeit $425,000

“Treasure hunter Tommy Thompson to forfeit $425,000”

by Kathy Lynn Gray via “Columbus Dispatch

Ex-fugitive Tommy Thompson has agreed in a plea deal to turn over $425,380 seized in his case to U.S. District Court.

The agreement, obtained by The Dispatch yesterday, was filed on Thursday as part of a criminal contempt-of-court case against the former treasure hunter. The document says that Thompson will plead guilty to one count of criminal contempt.

It also says that he will help the parties to a 2006 federal lawsuit against his shipwreck-search companies to identify and recover assets and that he will answer questions under oath about those assets, including 500 commemorative gold coins.

The coins were minted from gold bars Thompson brought up from the SS Central America shipwreck and were valued in 2007 at $1 million to $2.5 million.

Thompson also agrees in the document to answer questions and provide information to investigators, including identifying anyone who helped him while he was a fugitive.

If he pleads guilty to the single contempt charge, the document says, the U.S. attorney will not charge him with other offenses arising from the case, “including federal criminal offenses related to fraud and unjust enrichment.”

It also says that Thompson “claims to suffer from a rare medical condition that requires specialized treatment” and that the government agrees that Thompson’s medical condition will be a focus of the presentence investigation.

Thompson and his girlfriend, Alison Antekeier, were ordered in 2012 to appear before Judge Edmund A. Sargus in Columbus as part of the federal lawsuit over the treasure brought up from the shipwreck off the East Coast in the late 1980s.

Instead, the pair fled, and contempt charges were filed against them. They were returned to Columbus after they were arrested by U.S. marshals in southern Florida in January. . . .