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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Treasure Hunter, Girlfriend Plead Guilty To Criminal Contempt

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Thomas “Tommy” G. Thompson, 62, and Alison L. Antekeier, 47, both formerly of Columbus, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to criminal contempt, specifically disobedience or resistance of the court, stemming from a civil lawsuit.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Peter C. Tobin, United States Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, announced the plea entered into today before U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.

According to court documents, Thompson disobeyed and resisted a lawful order of U.S. District Chief Judge Sargus, who ordered Thompson to personally appear at an August 13, 2012 hearing related to a civil case involving the defendant. Specifically, Thompson had been ordered to appear at a hearing to provide an accounting of certain funds and the location of 500 re-strike commemorative gold coins as part of a lawsuit over the treasure that Thompson found from the SS Central America shipwreck. A bench warrant for Thompson’s arrest was issued the same day.

Antekeier was also ordered to appear in U.S. District Court as a witness in the civil lawsuit. She was to appear in court to give testimony related to the civil case on November 7, 2012; a bench warrant for her arrest was issued when she failed to appear.

In March 2013, an arrest warrant based on a criminal complaint alleging criminal contempt was authorized against Thompson.

U.S. Marshals found and arrested Thompson and Antekeier on January 27, 2015 in Boca Raton, Florida. Thompson and Antekeier – Thompson’s former assistant and current girlfriend – had been living in a Hilton hotel room under fake names and paying with cash.

“Deputy U.S. Marshals in Columbus were relentless in their pursuit of Thompson and Antekeier,” U.S. Marshal Tobin said. “Thompson and Antekeier were very sophisticated in avoiding capture and had access to nearly unlimited funds, enabling them to stay completely off the radar for years.  The U.S. Marshals Service with Deputy U.S. Marshals across the country can cast a wide net in apprehending fugitives.  In this instance, Deputy U.S. Marshals from the West Palm Beach, Florida office stepped up and played a major role in the capture of the treasure hunter and his companion.”

As part of their plea, the couple has agreed to forfeit the more than $425,000 in cash that was seized at the time of their arrest.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by the U.S. Marshals Service, as well as Senior Litigation Counsel Douglas W. Squires, who is representing the United States in this case. 

Updated July 23, 2015