Two men at the center of a scandal that has rocked the competitive fishing world have been sentenced to 10 days in prison.
Last September, Jacob Runyan, 43, and Chase Kominsky, 36, were disqualified from a contest in Ohio to catch the largest lake in Lake Erie.
In dramatic scenes on tape, the course director revealed that the couple had stuffed their catch with sinkers and fish fillets.
Prosecutors said the “fraudsters” were likely cheated in other tournaments.
The hunted scammers will spend a year and a half on probation after completing their prison term, and will also each have to pay a $2,500 (£2,000) fine.
Both men had their fishing licenses suspended over the incident for three years, the maximum penalty allowed by law, and Kominsky also had to forfeit his boat, valued at $130,000.
On Thursday, Attorney General Michael O’Malley said the couple “deserve to have their hunting licenses suspended for life.”
“These two people should be banned from any hunting tournament for life,” he said. They were robbers and now they are convicted criminals. »
Both hunters were competing in the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship, where the winner was to receive a prize of $28,760.
A viral video of the event shows tournament director Jason Fisher slashing his fish during the weigh-in, extracting lead balls and even fillets from other fish.
In the expletive-filled footage, a crowd can be heard shouting at Runyan – who remains silent after discovering the ruse.
The five fish were confiscated by weight and the men were ordered to leave.
They pleaded guilty in March to fraud and illegal possession of wild animals.