A federal judge in Ohio must decide whether to once again delay a hearing for a former deep-sea treasure hunter facing new penalties for failing to discuss the whereabouts of 500 missing gold coins.

Former explorer Tommy Thompson's lawyer asked Judge Algenon Marbley for the delay. The attorney, Karl Schneider, says his client is seriously ill and needs a hearing postponed for weeks.

Schneider submitted a doctor's affidavit under seal Monday to the judge in an attempt to push back a hearing ordered Tuesday afternoon.

Schneider argues the delay should be granted since the 63-year-old Thompson will remain in jail throughout.

Marbley ordered the Tuesday hearing after Thompson once again refused to answer questions about the coins as required by a plea deal.