Bars of gold. FILE PHOTO
A treasure hunter, who recovered millions of dollars in gold from a 19th century shipwreck has been arrested in Florida after more than two years on the run, authorities said Wednesday.
Thomas Thompson and assistant Alison Louise Antekeier were nabbed Tuesday at a hotel in Boca Raton, Florida, where they had been hiding for over a year, paying in cash and living under false identities.
Police had been chasing the pair since mid-2012 when they failed to appear in court in Ohio in connection with a lawsuit over the salvage expedition to bring up gold from the steamship SS Central America, which went down off South Carolina during a hurricane in 1857.
The plaintiffs charged they never received any return on their investment.
Thompson had led the salvage operation to recover assets from the ship, which sunk while carrying 21 tonnes of gold.
He recovered some of the treasure, which he later sold for $50 million.
The on-run duo "were well versed in 'tradecraft' and had read books on how to elude law enforcement. Upon being arrested, they offered no resistance," US Marshals said in a statement.They will be sent back to Ohio to respond to the charges against them.