Hermitage man, Ashtabula man sentenced in Lake Erie fishing tournament cheating scandal
A Hermitage man and a Cleveland man have both been sentenced after previously pleading guilty to cheating in a fishing contest scandal.
Both 36-year-old Chase Cominsky of Hermitage and 43-year-old Jacob Runyan of Ashtabula were ordered to pay a fine of $2,500 with half of that fine being waived provided the two agree to make a charitable donation to an organization focusing on children and fishing according to Cleveland NBC affiliate, WKYC.
WKYC reports the two also had their fishing licenses revoked and cannot fish for three years, and were also sentenced to 10 days in jail followed by a year and a half of probation.
Both are charged with cheating and ownership of and title to wild animals.
The charges stem from an incident in late September of 2022 when the two were caught cheating in a Lake Erie fishing tournament by putting lead bricks in fish. Video of this discovery went viral on social media.
Following this discovery, the two were disqualified from the competition and removed from the park.
Had the two won the tournament, they would have received a total of $25,000 in weekly prizes over the course of the four-week long tournament along with a $125,000 boat.
Initially, the two pled not guilty, but have since entered a plea deal in March causing the charges of Attempted Grand Theft and Possession of Criminal Tools to be dropped.