Judge Orders Treasure Hunter to Reveal Location of $4 Million in Gold Coins

In August 2012, Thompson refused to abide by an Ohio court’s order to divulge the whereabouts of 500 gold coins [valued as much as $4 million]. Thompson claimed to be on a voyage, which made him unavailable for the court proceedings. U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus found him in criminal contempt for his lack of appearance before the court.

Kyle Anne Uniss | Courthouse News Service

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CN) – A federal judge in Ohio ordered a former treasure hunter to divulge the whereabouts of 500 missing gold coins or face another contempt-of-court charge.

Tommy Thompson, 65, has been in jail since December 2015 on a civil contempt charge for refusing to reveal the gold’s location.

At a hearing Friday, U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley ordered Thompson to sign a power of attorney allowing the federal government to investigate a Belize trust, which was revealed in court filings and may point to the location of the coins.


The coins were struck from gold recovered by Thompson in 1988 from the S.S. Central America, an ocean liner that sank in an 1857 hurricane, taking more than 400 people down with it.

The ship sat undisturbed, more than a mile deep on the seafloor, until Thompson found it during an expedition in the late 1980s. The ship was said to be holding one of the largest reserves of lost bullion in modern history.

Court filings show various insurers came out of the woodwork after Thompson began pulling gold from the wreck, seeking reimbursement for insurance payouts delivered more than 100 years earlier, when the ship sank.


Other parties wanted a piece of the pie as well, including a band of Capuchin monks, who supposedly had been granted the rights to the sunken treasure, according to the court filings.

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Filming Cops
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Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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