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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Hole-in-one insurance scammer sentenced

Christine Clarridge Seattle Times

SEATTLE – A man who scammed golf-tournament organizers by selling hole-in-one insurance and then failing to make good on prizes was sentenced Friday in King County Superior Court to three months in jail.

Kevin Kolenda, 56, pleaded guilty in October to two counts of selling insurance without a license and one count of first-degree theft.

He was given credit for time already served in jail and was not taken back into custody on Friday. He also made the final payment on $15,000 restitution.

Kolenda was originally charged with five felony counts of selling insurance without a Washington license in 2012. After he failed to show up for a court hearing that year, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest and he was taken into custody in December in his hometown of Norwalk, Conn.

He was extradited to Washington in 2013.

According to court documents, Kolenda started a company called Golf Marketing in 1995 that he ran out of the Norwalk home he shares with his parents.

The business, which changed names several times throughout the years, sold insurance to golf organizations that offered prizes at tournaments, according to insurance commissioner investigators.

Investigators said tournaments would typically pick a specific hole on the course and offer a prize if someone got a hole-in-one there.

Kolenda’s company offered insurance on the prize, charging a premium that ranged from several hundred dollars to more than $1,000, according to charging documents.

The prizes were seldom won, according to the Insurance Commissioner’s Office, but when they were, Kolenda wouldn’t pay.

In some cases, the groups that hosted the tournaments had to come up with the prize money. In others, the prizewinners agreed to forgo a prize.

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