Connecticut Attorney General's Office
Press Release



Attorney General Sues For Alleged Failure To Pay Marine Corps League Golf Tournament Hole In One Prize

January 13, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced a lawsuit alleging that an insurer and its owner failed to pay a $40,000 hole in one prize last September at a charity golf tournament sponsored by the Marine Corps League's Lock City Detachment.

The lawsuit charges that Hole-In-Won, LLC and Hole-In-Won Worldwide, both of Hoboken, N.J., and their owner Kevin Kolenda of Norwalk knowingly broke state law by failing to pay the prize, operating without a state insurance license and defying a 2001 cease-and-desist order.

Blumenthal filed the lawsuit on behalf of Insurance Commissioner Thomas R. Sullivan and Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Jr.

Blumenthal is a member of the Marine Corps League and an honorary member of the Lock City Detachment based in Stamford.

Blumenthal said, "The Marine Corps League's mission and money was to aid wounded troops -- who deserve this fight to keep the faith. If Hole-In-Won's illegality is allowed to stand, the losers will be wounded warriors -- whom the Marine Corps League sought to benefit through its golf tournament. We seek full restitution -- $40,000 owed the Marine Corps League's Lock City Detachment -- so this profoundly worthwhile cause won't suffer."

Blumenthal added, "Hole-In-Won made the worst possible choice in victims by scamming the Marines. This company betrayed its promise and dropped the ball when a hole in one happened. The company is an alleged chronic lawbreaker."

Insurance Commissioner Thomas R. Sullivan said, "Selling insurance requires a license in the state of Connecticut, and Mr. Kolenda continues to defy that requirement. We are pleased Attorney General Blumenthal has responded to our request to pursue Mr. Kolenda in court for his continued violation of insurance laws."

On September 12, 2008, Kolenda and Hole-In-Won allegedly agreed to pay $40,000 if a golfer made a hole in one on the 15th hole during the Lock City Detachment's charity golf tournament at the E. Gaynor Brennan Golf Course in Stamford. A golfer subsequently sank a hole in one during the September 15 event. The prize was $20,000 to the golfer and another $20,000 to the Lock City Detachment.

When the league filed a claim, the company allegedly never paid or even responded.

On September 20, 2001, the Insurance Commission issued a cease-and-desist order against Kolenda and Hole-In-Won requiring them to stop doing business in the state. Kolenda and Hole-In-Won allegedly defied the order, continuing to operate in the state and repeatedly failing to pay other hole in one prizes.

Blumenthal's lawsuit asks the court for an order requiring Hole-in-Won to obey state law, a contempt finding for its violation of the 2001 cease-and-desist order, fines for contempt, civil penalties and restitution.