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Fed. judge orders company to pay Spain $1 million

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered a Tampa company marine exploration company to pay $1 million to the Spanish government for "bad faith and abusive litigation."

Spain wanted $3.3 million in legal fees after it won its claim to a $600 million haul of sunken treasure that Odyssey Marine Exploration pulled from the bottom of the Atlantic in 2007.

U.S. courts ruled the treasure from a sunken Spanish vessel belonged to Spain. Odyssey argued that it rightfully retrieved the 17 tons of gold and silver.

The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/GzvE2n) reports Judge Steven Merryday wrote last week that Odyssey acted in "bad faith" in its handling of the case because the treasure hunting company did not properly respond to Spain when questioned about the sunken vessel. Odyssey says it might appeal.


Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.