Paul Tormanen, 39, of Lee's Summit, faces a felony charge of contest fraud. He's suspected of catching bass before the competition and tying them to a stump, then submitting them during a competition in Louisiana last week.
Another competitor found tethered bass and informed authorities, who marked the fish, the television station reported. Tormanen was then questioned when he allegedly turned one of the marked fish in to be weighed at the Bassmaster Tournament on the Red River.
Fisherman who know Tormanen are shocked by the accusation.
"I just talked to him a couple weeks ago and personally congratulated him on such a successful season last year," pro bass fisherman Shane Voyles said. "He won, you know, $40,000, $50,000, $60,000 last year just in the Heartland ProAm circuit -- that's a local circuit around here."
"It's a sad thing ... I get phone calls from friends, 'Man, can you believe this?' We all knew the guy," he said ...
Tormanen has posted bond and was released.
KMBC went to the address listed on Tormanen's arrest record and found the front door ajar. A sign on the door read, "Welcome Home Dad, We Miss You." When KMBC rang the bell, someone slammed the door shut.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
MISSOURI ANGLER ACCUSED OF CHEATING
In a professional bass tournament, to boot. KMBC reports:
What is the reel truth?