White Marlin Open Organizers File Interpleader Against Winner - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

White Marlin Open Organizers File Interpleader Against Winner

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(The White Marlin Open organizers file lawsuit against The Kallianassa; Photo credit: WBOC) (The White Marlin Open organizers file lawsuit against The Kallianassa; Photo credit: WBOC)

OCEAN CITY, Md. (WBOC) -- The organizers of the White Marlin Open filed an interpleader against this year's tournament winner Friday afternoon.

According to legal records, the organizers of the tournament claim that winner Philip Heasley and three other members of the Kallianassa's crew failed post-tournament polygraph tests regarding following the rules and regulations of the competition. Specifically in the fishing boat's "Catch Report," tournament officials say in the claim that a time of 8:15 a.m. was originally written down and later changed to 9:05 a.m. The tournament's rules state that you cannot start fishing until 8:30 a.m.

The organizers of the tournament announced earlier this week via the White Marlin Open official website that the cash prize of $2.8 million would be withheld due to an alleged violation. On Thursday, Heasley released a statement via Facebook amid the allegations saying:

 The Kallianassa's excellent crew and superb captain have always maintained the highest levels of integrity; they will be vindicated and walking tall in the fishing community.

If found by a judge that there was in fact a violation of the tournament's rules and regulations, the tournament's organizers say that the judge will make an official call on how the prize money is distributed. Heasley and his crew aboard the Kallianassa were named the 2016 White Marlin Open winners, bringing in a 76 and 1/2 pound white marlin on August 9th.

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