Trial begins to settle $2.8M fishing tourney prize
It started in the open ocean off Maryland last summer and it's likely to conclude in a federal courtroom in Baltimore.
The battle over $2.8 million in prize money from the White Marlin Open fishing tournament went to trial Monday in U.S. District Court.
On the line for three New Jersey men is $2.3 million of the pot.
Trenton police officer Brian Suschke, Trenton firefighter Rich Kosztyu and Ocean County boat owner Damien Romeo were ecstatic after winning $767,091 for catching a 236.5-pound tuna at the August competition in Ocean City, Md.
Then, the friends and fishing partners found out their catch might actually be worth millions.
In late August, the tournament announced that a Florida boat - the Kallianassa out of Naples, Fla. - may have violated tournament rules in the white marlin category. The boat caught the sole qualifying fish in the category.
The tournament suspended the $2.8 million payout to the Kallianassa's winning angler, Phillip Heasley, and filed legal action in a Maryland court seeking a judge to decide the outcome. The case was moved to federal court later in 2016.