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Trial begins in $2.8M White Marlin Open dispute

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Posted at 4:09 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 16:09:09-04

A federal judge will decide who gets $2.8 million from last year's White Marlin Open.

WBOC-TV reports  that the trial in a dispute over the outcome of the tournament Ocean City opened this week in U.S. District Court in Baltimore with testimony focused on polygraph tests administered on organizers' behalf to the winner, Phil Heasley of Naples, Florida.

Heasley was crowned the winner after catching the event's biggest white marlin, but Heasley and his boat mates were disqualified after failing polygraph tests. Heasley and his crew maintain they did nothing wrong.

Tournament attorneys called an expert witness to validate the tests' legitimacy, but Heasley's lawyers tried to chip away at that legitimacy.

If Heasley loses, the winnings will be divided up among more than a dozen other fishermen.