NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk man has been charged with being a fugitive from justice from Washington state, where he is wanted on five felony counts of transacting insurance without a license. Norwalk police took Kevin Kolenda, 55, of North Water Street into custody Wednesday morning after a foot chase.
Kolenda failed to show up for his Sept. 5 arraignment, according to the office of the Washington State Insurance Commissioner, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
When Norwalk police went to Kolenda’s business on Elizabeth Street on Wednesday, officers reported he left the building and ran into an empty lot on Day Street. Police blocked off the area around the lot and called in the K-9 unit, according to police reports. Kolenda eventually came out of hiding and was taken into custody, police said. He was charged with being a fugitive from justice and interfering with an officer. He was held on a $510,000 bond and was arraigned Thursday.
The Washington Insurance Commissioner’s office said that, on multiple occasions, Kolenda has sold illegal insurance policies to golf tournaments where participants would receive a large cash prize for hitting a hole-in-one. However, whenever a player would make a hole-in-one, Kolenda would refuse to pay the prize, the office said.
Kolenda was arrested in Norwalk in July on a warrant issued in Montana for failing to pay an $18,000 prize. He has been accused of failing to pay prizes in Washington valued at $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000, as well as ignoring a cease-and-desist order and a $125,000 fine, according to the Insurance Commissioner’s office.
“We’ve been warning the public about Mr. Kolenda’s scam for years,” Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in a statement. “He has a long history of selling illegal insurance, refusing to pay prize winners and thumbing his nose at regulators.”
Kolenda started his company in 1995 as Golf Marketing, and it has since gone by many different names, according to the Insurance Commissioner’s office. It is currently known as Hole-in-Won.