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August 30, 2016

N.J. fishermen could reel in additional $2.3 million due to failed polygraph test

Lawsuits Fishing
081616_TunaMarlin Source/White Marlin Open

236.5-pound tuna caught at 2016 White Marlin Open.

Some failed polygraph tests are at the center of a lawsuit that could divert $2.3 million in prize money to a group of New Jersey fishermen.

Three weeks ago, a 236.5-pound bigeye tuna was caught during the White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Maryland.

The catch set a record in the tournament's tuna category and earned police officer Brian Suschke, firefighter Rich Kosztyu and boat owner Damien Romeo a cool $767,091 for their efforts.

NoneSource/White Marlin Open

236.5-pound tuna caught at 2016 White Marlin Open.

Not bad for a group of guys who have been competing in the tournament for years.

However, the feel-good story took an unexpected turn this week.

According to, tournament officials filed a lawsuit in a Maryland court alleging that fishermen on another boat failed polygraph tests, which would force them to forfeit their $2.8-million prize.

Under tournament rules, a fisherman must pass a polygraph examination to collect prize money in excess of $50,000.

Court documents show that Suschke, Kosztyu and Romeo would be entitled to more than $2.3 million if the disqualification is upheld.

The trio did not comment on the report.

Tournament officials said that 329 boats competed for a total of $4,450,000 in prizes in this year's contest.