Documents unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court indicate a Maine business venture to recover sunken treasure from shipwrecks was deceiving investors by fabricating documents.
A search warrant for the property of treasure hunter Greg Brooks of Gorahm, Maine, includes statements from his principal researcher, Edward Michaud of Framingham, Massachusetts.
The documents state that Michaud told a federal investigator that ship documents used to persuade investors were forged.
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"Michaud admitted to a scheme to defraud investors by fraudulently altering photographs of NARA ship's records," the warrant states. "Michaud admitted that Brooks pressured him to alter the documents based on pressure that Sea Hunters was facing with potential investors."
Over the years, Brooks has claimed to have found several shipwrecks containing sunken treasure, including the Port Nicholson off of Cape Cod. He has claimed that the treasure amounts to billions of dollars, and has said all he needs is for investors to fund those expeditions to collect the gold, platinum and other treasures.
The search document was executed at Brooks' home in December.
While it is not a criminal indictment, the investigator states that probable cause exists that Brooks' company committed crimes including wire fraud and forgery of ship papers.
Brooks is facing multiple civil lawsuits related to the treasure hunting expeditions.