Last year’s Lake Champlain International Father’s Day Derby winner is on the hook for alleged fraud.
Craig Provost of Plattsburgh took home $13,000 in 2015 for breaking a derby record with the contest’s largest walleye fish. The catch? He wasn’t the one who caught it, LCI says.
Provost’s teammate reeled in the fish, but had not purchased the “cash extras” that allotted Provost a larger winning sum, LCI executive director James Ehlers said.
A person connected to Provost reported the fishy situation to LCI, who notified Colchester police on May 31. Provost was cited with fraud last Thursday, June 16, Lt. Doug Allen said.
The 10.26-pound winning record is now expunged from LCI standings, bumping each of last year’s top 10 winners up one notch. William McSweeney Sr. of Milton now reigns at No. 1 for the 2015 walleye category, LCI results show.
Ehlers said when it comes to weighing the fish, high-end state certified scales are utilized by trained weigh station employees. In this case, however, the fish’s owner was in question, not its weight. When it comes to regulating a fish’s ownership, “we think the process works,” Ehlers said, noting nothing was changed for last weekend’s competition.
The 2016 Father’s Day Derby was not affected by the alleged fraud, besides that there wasn’t a new record to beat, Ehlers said.
Provost is set to appear in Vermont Superior Court on July 28.