Grand Jury Indicts ‘Hole-in-Won’ Owner on Prize Insurance Fraud Charges
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Grand Jury Indicts ‘Hole-in-Won’ Owner on Prize Insurance Fraud Charges

A federal grand jury in Connecticut returned a six-count indictment charging a Norwalk, Connecticut business owner with fraud crimes related to the operation of a prize insurance business.

According to authorities, Kevin Kolenda owned and operated Hole-in-Vaughn LLC, which provided prize insurance to customers offering promotions or prizes at events including golf tournaments and fishing contests. Hole in Won used a promotional website,, where it claimed to be “the world's most successful prize insurance company”, having “paid out thousands of prizes” to winners around the world. Have done.

The indictment alleges that Kolenda defrauded dozens of organizations and individuals out of approximately $1 million, including approximately $850,000 in insurance premiums paid under false pretenses and more than $100,000 in award costs, which Holle failed to repay. In Won failed.

The charges were brought by U.S. Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery of Connecticut and Special Agent Robert Fuller of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

An indictment is not proof of crime. Charges are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to the indictment, as part of the scheme, victims, often charitable or civic organizations, received insurance from Kolenda and the Hole in Won for one or more prizes in a program. For example, the host of a golf tournament may include an attractive prize, such as a new car, for any player who hits a hole-in-one on a specific hole. The victim will complete an insurance contract and pay the insurance premium to Kolenda and Hole in Won, and Kolenda and Hole in Won will promise to pay the insurance claim for the cost of the insured prize if he or she is the winner at the event. If no one wins an insured prize at the event, Kolenda and Hole in Won will keep the premium.

The indictment further alleges that if someone won an insured prize, Kolenda would often use various fraudulent techniques to avoid paying a claim. For example, Kolenda made excuses to victims as to why Hole in Won did not have to pay the cost of the claim; Victims were referred to the Hole in Won “claims department” in an office in Washington, DC, which did not exist; And threatened victims with fraudulent legal action and reputational damage if they continued to demand payment of claims.

Ultimately, Kolenda often stopped responding to victims' correspondence and refused to pay the cost of the insured prize, and the victim host or organization often paid the cost of the insured prize themselves to avoid reputational damage and potential legal action. Used to, prosecutors allege.

The indictment charges Kolenda with six counts of wire fraud, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count.

Kolenda was arraigned April 5 before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Appearing before Dave Wattie, he pleaded not guilty and was released on $50,000 bond.

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