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December 20, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Hole-in-one insurer pleads not guilty to 5 felony charges

A Connecticut man who specializes in insuring hole-in-one prizes pleaded not guilty this morning in King County Superior Court to charges that he failed to pay up following several tournaments.

Kevin Kolenda, 55, is accused of failing to pay off on hole-in-one insurance when several Washington state golfers hit a hole-in-one during tournaments. In some cases, charities or tournament hosts had to come up with the cash, according to the Washington State Insurance Commissioner’s Office.

After Kolenda was charged in August with five felony counts of engaging in an unauthorized insurance transaction, he failed to appear in King County Superior Court for his Sept. 5 arraignment. He was arrested on a Washington bench warrant three weeks later by police in Norwalk, Conn.

Kolenda was extradited last week to Washington.

According to the criminal charges::

In 2003, Kolenda illegally sold insurance for a tournament at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, but refused to immediately pay when a golfer got a hole-in-one and tried to claim the $10,000 prize.

The following year, he refused to make good on a $50,000 prize won during a tournament at the Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver, Wash.

Two years ago, Kolenda sold coverage for a $25,000 hole-in-one prize at a golf tournament on June 14 in Snohomish and, once again, declined to pay despite numerous notarized forms attesting to the hole-in-one.

Comments | More in Sports, The Blotter | Topics: golf, King County Superior Court, selling insurance without a license


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