Defiance Native Now A Wanted Fugitive

A Defi­ance native, once known for find­ing a vast trea­sure of gold that had sat on the bot­tom of the ocean for more than 131 years, is now a wanted man.

Tommy Thomp­son has been wanted for the past two years by the U.S. Mar­shals Ser­vice, who has hunted Thomp­son as a fugi­tive.

Thomp­son is wanted for skip­ping a court date to explain to investors what hap­pened to all the gold he found from the ship­wreck of the SS Cen­tral Amer­ica that went down off the South Car­olina coast in 1857 dur­ing a hur­ri­cane.

425 peo­ple drowned and gold worth mil­lions was lost.

In Octo­ber of 1988, Thomp­son found the trea­sure. But shortly after­ward, dozens of insur­ance com­pa­nies sued Thomp­son, claim­ing they had insured the gold in 1857 and that it belonged to them. In 1996, Thompson’s com­pany was awarded 92 per­cent of the trea­sure, net­ting him about $50 mil­lion.

How­ever, in 2005, Thompson’s investors still hadn’t been paid, and two sued.

Thomp­son went into seclu­sion in Vero Beach, Florida. He has since van­ished.

Nobody is quite sure where Thomp­son, who is now 62, might be.

If caught, Thomp­son could face jail time and hefty fines.

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