Fugitive treasure hunter to appear in Florida federal court

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A treasure hunter locked in a legal battle over one of the greatest undersea hauls in American history was scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday after two years on the run.

The U.S. Marshals Service captured former fugitive Tommy Thompson at a Hilton hotel in West Boca Raton on Tuesday. The capture was announced Wednesday by Brian Babtist, a senior inspector in the agency's office in Columbus, Ohio, where a federal civil arrest warrant was issued for him in 2012 for failing to show up to a key court hearing. A criminal contempt warrant was unsealed Wednesday.

Thompson had been on the lam for two years, accused of cheating investors out of their share of $50 million in gold bars and coins he had recovered from a 19th century shipwreck.

Thompson made history in 1988 when he found the sunken S.S. Central America, also known as the Ship of Gold. In what was a technological feat at the time, Thompson and his crew brought up thousands of gold bars and coins from the shipwreck. Much of that was later sold to a gold marketing group in 2000 for about $50 million.

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