76.5 pounds of Controversy: The Latest on the White Marlin Open
What’s the latest in the developing controversy that is the 2016 White Marlin Open? The paragraph below is taken directly (point 40) from case number 23-C-16-0659 of the Circuit Court of Dorcester, County Maryland. The case was filed by the White Marlin Open in hopes to resolve the escalating legal dispute that is captivating the sportfishing world.
“Defendant Heasley’s failure to pass polygraph examinations administered to him and his subsequent refusal to execute a release that would allow Plaintiff to award the $2,818,662.00 at issue to the Defendants named in this matter creates a controversy among the Defendants and reputation and integrity of the Open Tournament dictates the need for an Order of Impleader so that this honorable court may determine the rights and liabilities of the parties involved in this litigation.”
To see the entire case, click here.
What’s happening now:
Tournament rules state that any recipient of more than $50,000 in prize money is subject to a polygraph examination—lie detector test. Professional exam administrators hired by the tournament believe that test results indicated deception. The deception, which was registered on multiple polygraphs given to multiple individuals, was indicated in response to two questions:
- Was the angler provided any assistance in reeling in the fish?
- Was the fish caught within tournament hours?
The catch card submitted to tournament officials listed the time of catch at 8:15, before it was altered to 9:05. Tournament lines in were called at 8:30.
The polygraph issues mean that the $2.8 million in prize money for the tournament’s only qualifying white marlin is now in limbo. The court case lists a number of additional defendants. The remaining defendants are not suspected of rules violations, but are a party to the suit because they may be in line for additional money. As it currently reads, the primary beneficiary of the change in prize money would be angler Richard Kosztyu who fished aboard the Hubris. Kosztyu’s 236.5 bigeye tuna has already won $767,091. Were the redistribution were to take place as outlined by the case, he would receive an additional $2.312 million.
It is important to note that only the captain, crew and anglers on the boat know what really happened. IntheBite does not accuse anyone of dishonesty and certainly does not engage in that type of behavior. This article rather reports on the latest information on a story that continues to develop.