(HELENA, Mont) — Troy Peissig remembers the “second of disbelief” when he realized he had won $18,000 at a charity hole-in-one event. Two years later, the Montana man said he is in disbelief for another reason — he hasn’t been paid.
“We’ve been through two years of headaches trying to deal with a company that hasn’t called us back and when they did call us they weren’t nice people. You could tell something was going on,” Peissig, 30, a former golf teacher, told ABC News.
State authorities took the unusual step last week of issuing a warrant for Kevin Kolenda, the operator of Hole-In-Won.com, the golf insurance site that promised the payout. Kolenda is wanted on charges of felony insurance fraud and misdemeanor selling insurance without a license.
Kolenda has been sanctioned in Alabama, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina and Washington. In 2009, he was fined $5.9 million by Connecticut regulators.
ABC News tried multiple times to reach Kolenda for comment. He did not respond.
Seven months after scoring an ace, Peissig thought he’d finally receive his payout. He said he was contacted by a woman named Amanda from Hole-In-One.com, who said his check was on the way.
Instead, when Peissig opened his mailbox he found a denial letter from the company.
The golf insurance operator claimed hole 12 at the Missoula Country Club, where Peissig scored his hole-in-one, fell short of the 165-yard minimum required in the policy contract, a claim refuted by investigators who determined the club had lengthened its typically 130-yard hole to meet Kolenda’s requirement.
That beautiful swing on a par-three hole at the Missoula Country Club was a moment Peissig will never forget, even if it has been soured.
“I teed the ball up and took a really good swing at it. It was a blast. It was incredible. I was with my dad that day, which was cool,” he said.
Peissig said finally receiving the winnings would be huge, since he just became a new father.
“It would be great. We just had our first child last year so starting a new family it would really help out. For a young family $18,000 is a game changer in Montana,” he said. “But then you look at the reports on this guy and I think it would be great for him not to be able to not do this to anyone else.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire