A former deep-sea treasure hunter is getting ready to mark his sixth 12 months in jail forconstructed from gold present in an historic shipwreck.
Analysis scientisthas been held in contempt of courtroom since Dec. 15, 2015, for that refusal. He’s additionally incurring a every day advantageous of $1,000.
Thompson’s case dates to his discovery of the S.S. Central America, often known as, in 1988. The gold rush-era ship sank in a hurricane off South Carolina in 1857 with 1000’s of kilos of gold aboard, contributing to an financial panic.
Regardless of an traders lawsuit and a federal courtroom order, Thompson, 69, nonetheless will not cooperate with authorities looking for these cash, in accordance with courtroom data, federal prosecutors and the decide who discovered Thompson in contempt.
Thompson says he is already stated every little thing he is aware of in regards to the cash. Thompson pleaded responsible in April 2015 for his failure to seem for a 2012 listening to and was sentenced to 2 years in jail and a $250,000 advantageous. However Thompson’s prison sentence has been delayed till the difficulty of the gold cash is resolved.
After a federal decide ordered Thompson in 2012 to seem in courtroom to reveal the cash’ whereabouts, Thompson fled to Florida the place he lived along with his longtime feminine companion at a resort the place he was dwelling close to Boca Raton.in early 2015.
Federal legislation usually limits jail time for contempt of courtroom to 18 months. However a federal appeals courtroom in 2019 rejected Thompson’s argument that that legislation applies to him, saying his refusal violates circumstances of a plea settlement.
After know-how issues cancelled Thompson’s newest digital listening to final week, federal Choose Algenon Marbley scheduled a brand new listening to for Jan. 7.
Final 12 months, Thompson appeared by video for his listening to.
“Mr. Thompson, are you able to reply the seminal query on this case as to the whereabouts of the gold?” Marbley stated.
“Your honor, I do not know if we have gone over this street earlier than or not, however I do not know the whereabouts of the gold,” Thompson responded. “I really feel like I haven’t got the keys to my freedom.”
Final 12 months, Marbley denied Thompson’s request for launch over considerations he is in danger for contracting the coronavirus behind bars. Marbley stated Thompson did not current correct proof for his danger stage, and in addition famous he stays a flight danger.
The traders nonetheless searching for their cash say Thompson has nobody however himself accountable for his incarceration.
“He can be out of jail by now if he had merely complied along with his plea settlement and cooperated in finding lacking property when he was presupposed to,” lawyer Steven Tigges stated in a courtroom submitting.
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