Judge rules Heasley, crew vi­o­lated White Mar­lin Open tour­ney rules

Record Observer - - Sports -

A Florida man will not get more than $2.8 mil­lion in prize money be­cause he vi­o­lated the rules of the White Mar­lin Open fish­ing tour­na­ment last Au­gust in Ocean City, ac­cord­ing to a rul­ing by U.S. Dis­trict Judge Richard D. Ben­nett.

The judged said that Philip G. Heasley, who caught the only prize-el­i­gi­ble white mar­lin in the con­test, vi­o­lated tour­na­ment rules by fail­ing two poly­graph tests.

Heasley, the president and CEO of ACI World­wide, had tes­ti­fied that he did not lie on the poly­graph tests.

In his or­der is­sued Wed­nes­day, June 14, Ben­nett ruled that “Heasley failed to sat­isfy the Tour­na­ment Rules’ poly­graph re­quire­ment and, there­fore, failed to per­form un­der that con­tract.”

The judge found that Heasley and the crew of the Kal­lianassa vi­o­lated tour­na­ment rules when they dropped their fish­ing lines be­fore 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 9, the day they caught the win­ning fish.

The judge’s rul­ing means the first-place prize win­nings will be dis­trib­uted among 13 other com­peti­tors who won other cat­e­gories dur­ing the tour­na­ment.

Among the new prize dis­burse­ments, Richard Kosz­tyu of New Jer­sey is ex­pected to get an ad­di­tional $2,312,152. Jim Con­way of Glen Burnie will get $254,620, and Mark Hutchi­son of Tal­bot County will get $140,509.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment on the WMO Face­book page, tour­na­ment of­fi­cials praised the judge’s de­ci­sions: “Through­out the case, the in­ten­tion of the White Mar­lin Open direc­tors has been to pro­tect the in­tegrity of the tour­na­ment and to en­sure that the rules are ap­plied fairly for all par­tic­i­pants.”

“I’ve never been ac­cused of break­ing a rule of law,” Heasley said in court. He said he cared more about his rep­u­ta­tion than re­ceiv­ing the prize money.

Con­test rules re­quire com­peti­tors who win $50,000 or more to take a poly­graph test.

This year’s 44th White Mar­lin Open is sched­uled for Aug. 7-11.

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