In 1857, the SS Central America, a freighter that travels between Central America and the East Coast and also named as “Ship of Gold,” sank into the Atlantic Ocean with 12 tons of gold on its cargo hold during a hurricane. The said shipwreck was very famous during that time as it contributes to the economic crisis – Panic of 1857.
In 1988, over a century later, Thompson made a history when he discovered the shipwreck and recovered the gold bars and coins worth more than $400 million. However, he has been sued by many of his investors in both state and federal courts, which also include the Columbus Dispatch. His investors claimed they never received a cent from the treasure after Thompson sold almost all of it.
In 2012, an injunction was issued by a federal judge against Thompson and he was ordered to provide the profits and the location of the treasure. Eventually, a warrant of arrest was issued after he failed to show up on a court appearance. Thompson and his girlfriend, Antekeier, were on the run.
While hiding from the authorities, a handyman recognized them when he serviced their home in Florida and reported them to the authorities. After searching their home, the authorities found thousands of dollars in cash hidden in pipes and buried underground. They also found a bank statement with $1 million balance under his known alias name- Harvey Thompson.
Thompson’s business partner told the Associated Press that he never stole money and that most of the money he made from selling the gold, about $50 million, went to legal fees and loans. Currently, the couple is held in Florida and will then be sent over to Ohio for their court proceedings. Sergio Andrade Gutierrez is interested to see how it all turns out.