Treasure hunter jailed until he coughs up location of missing go - KMOV.com

Treasure hunter jailed until he coughs up location of missing gold

Posted: Updated:
This undated file photo provided by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office in Delaware, Ohio, shows Tommy Thompson. (Delaware County Sheriff's Office via AP, File) This undated file photo provided by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office in Delaware, Ohio, shows Tommy Thompson. (Delaware County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/KMOV.com) - A federal judge on Monday ordered a former deep-sea treasure hunter to answer questions about the location of 500 missing gold coins.

Tommy Thompson has been held in contempt of court since last December, when Judge Algenon Marbley in Columbus found he violated a plea deal by refusing to respond.

Marbley on Monday told Thompson to answer the questions within 30 days.

The judge's order came after Thompson and his attorneys spent the past month at Marbley's direction reviewing documents that might hold clues about the location of the coins and other assets worth millions.

Thompson has said he told everything he knew during depositions last year. Todd Long, an attorney for Thompson, told Marbley on Monday that nothing has changed from Thompson's perspective.

"He has nothing further to say," Long said.

The coins were minted from gold taken from the S.S. Central America, a Gold Rush-era ship that sank off South Carolina in an 1857 hurricane with thousands of pounds of gold aboard, contributing to an economic panic.

The 161 investors who paid Thompson $12.7 million to find the ship never saw any proceeds. Two sued - a now-deceased investment firm president and the company that once published The Columbus Dispatch newspaper.

A fugitive from Ohio since 2012, Thompson was apprehended in January 2015 along with his longtime female companion at a hotel where he was living near Boca Raton, Florida.

The time that's passed since Thompson's last deposition might give him an opportunity to answer the questions, Marbley suggested.

"Who knows - he might have an epiphany," the judge said. "It is the season of miracles."

Marbley has also ordered Thompson to pay $1,000 a day until he answers questions. Currently, he owes more than $350,000, said Doug Squires, an assistant U.S. attorney. Squires said he hopes the government will see the money.

"The federal government always works very hard to recover all assets," he said.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Watch News 4 Now

Mouse over player for controls · LAUNCH FULL PLAYER

  • NationalMore>>

  • Ann Wedgeworth, known for 'Three's Company' role, dies at 83

    Ann Wedgeworth, known for 'Three's Company' role, dies at 83

    Saturday, November 18 2017 8:27 PM EST2017-11-19 01:27:09 GMT
    In this June 4, 1978 file photo, actress Ann Wedgeworth poses at Sardi's restaurant following the 32nd Annual Tony Awards in New York City. (AP Photo/File)In this June 4, 1978 file photo, actress Ann Wedgeworth poses at Sardi's restaurant following the 32nd Annual Tony Awards in New York City. (AP Photo/File)

    Actress Ann Wedgeworth played Lana Shields on "Three's Company." She was 83.

    More >

    Actress Ann Wedgeworth played Lana Shields on "Three's Company." She was 83.

    More >
  • David Cassidy, 'Partridge Family' superstar, in critical condition

    David Cassidy, 'Partridge Family' superstar, in critical condition

    Saturday, November 18 2017 6:28 PM EST2017-11-18 23:28:49 GMT
    This Aug. 8, 2009 file photo shows actor-singer David Cassidy, best known for his role as Keith Partridge on "The Partridge Family," arrives at the ABC Disney Summer press tour party in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, File)This Aug. 8, 2009 file photo shows actor-singer David Cassidy, best known for his role as Keith Partridge on "The Partridge Family," arrives at the ABC Disney Summer press tour party in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, File)

    David Cassidy, the wildly popular '70s heartthrob who shot to fame when he starred and sang in TV's "The Partridge Family," is in critical condition with organ failure.

    More >

    David Cassidy, the wildly popular '70s heartthrob who shot to fame when he starred and sang in TV's "The Partridge Family," is in critical condition with organ failure.

    More >
  • New Roy Moore accuser: He grabbed me 'on my buttocks'

    New Roy Moore accuser: He grabbed me 'on my buttocks'

    Saturday, November 18 2017 3:11 PM EST2017-11-18 20:11:15 GMT

    A new accuser is coming forward. "It was so uncomfortable," Tina Johnson told CNN's Erin Burnett on Friday, referring to Moore's behavior during a meeting she and her mother had with him in 1991, when Johnson was 28.

    More >

    A new accuser is coming forward. "It was so uncomfortable," Tina Johnson told CNN's Erin Burnett on Friday, referring to Moore's behavior during a meeting she and her mother had with him in 1991, when Johnson was 28.

    More >
Powered by Frankly