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Court: Fishing captain properly convicted of attempted theft

November 27, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An appeals court says a Door County judge properly convicted a fishing boat captain after he tried to win a salmon tournament by stuffing a weight inside his catch.

According to court documents, Michael Cefalu’s charter client submitted a 30.27-pound salmon in a 2013 tournament where the first-place prize was $10,000 cash and $1,500 worth of prizes.

Tournament officials discovered a 1-pound weight in the salmon. Judge Peter Diltz found Cefalu guilty of attempted theft by fraud of more than $5,000 to $10,000, a felony, in 2016.

Cefalu argued there wasn’t enough evidence to support a conviction. The 3rd District Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling Tuesday that Cefalu helped register the fish and was reluctant to cut it open.

Cefalu’s attorney, Howard Mitz, declined comment.

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This story has been updated to correct that Judge Peter Diltz found Cefalu guilty.

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