June 5, 2015
OLYMPIA, Wash. - Golf tournament insurance scammer Kevin Kolenda was booked into King County jail early this morning after being extradited from Norwalk, Conn., and is being held on $200,000 bail while he awaits a hearing to face three felony charges.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit arrested Kolenda in Norwalk, Conn., on April 20 in collaboration with Norwalk Police Department. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Kolenda, 57, with attempted first-degree theft and two counts of selling insurance without a license, all felonies, through his golf tournament marketing website, hole-in-won.com.
Kolenda failed to pay a $20,000 prize to a golfer who hit a hole-in-one at a 2014 tournament at Suncadia Golf Course in Cle Elum.
“I look forward to seeing Mr. Kolenda face justice in King County Superior Court,” Kreidler said. “He was already sentenced once in King County and was told in no uncertain terms to stop ripping off Washingtonians. Clearly, he didn’t get the message.”
This is second time Kreidler has pursued criminal charges against Kolenda for defrauding Washington tournaments and golfers. In 2012, Kolenda was extradited from his home base in Connecticut to Washington to face charges of selling insurance without a license. He pled guilty in 2013 to three felony charges for selling insurance without a license and theft, stemming from his failure to pay hole-in-one awards ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. In 2014, he was sentenced in King County Superior Court to 86 days with credit for time served and ordered to pay $15,000 restitution.
According to the most recent charging documents, Kolenda resumed selling insurance without a license four days after his sentencing and has engaged in selling insurance in Washington at least six times between February 2014 and March 2015.
Kolenda has a long history of defrauding people through hole-in-one insurance scams. He’s been in business since 1995 and has been investigated or prosecuted in 12 states.
Kolenda ignored a 2004 order from Kreidler to cease and desist from selling insurance without a license and a $125,000 fine levied in 2008 for continuing the practice.
Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit investigates insurance fraud and works with the Attorney General’s Office and local prosecutors to prosecute criminal cases. Consumers can report suspected insurance fraud on the Insurance Commissioner’s website.
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Release No. 15-24