The Block ‘conwoman’ Emese Fajk accused of ripping off Ukraine war effort
The ‘conwoman’ who fooled The Block has been accused of stealing millions of dollars worth of medical supplies from Ukrainian soldiers, but denies it ever happened.
Emese Fajk, 30, fled Australia after she was exposed as allegedly using fake ANZ Bank slips to win the $4.2 million reality TV show auction in December 2020.
After allegedly ripping off her landlord and boyfriend on a Portuguese island last year, she popped up in July as communications director for the Ukrainian Foreign Legion with the callsign ‘Mockingjay’.
Revelations of her past scandals sent shockwaves through the legion, and senior officers began scrutinising her activities in the warzone.
A confidential dossier prepared for Ukrainian Ground Forces Command by a senior legion officer with substantial intelligence experience, and obtained by Daily Mail Australia, outlines the allegations against her.
Alleged The Block fraudster Emese Fajk, 30, is in Ukraine fighting the Russian invaders, even appearing in a promotional photo posing with an AR-15 assault rifle
Daily Mail Australia does not suggest Fajk is guilty, but understands she is under investigation by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) for allegedly stealing legion funds and possible links to Russian intelligence.
Fajk claimed she was yet to see any evidence backing up the allegations against her, calling them a ‘smear campaign’, but did not comment on individual claims.
‘Anyone can write so-called reports, but these reports would need to be backed up with evidence,’ she said.
‘These allegations are made by people who for one reason or another have their own agenda. If anyone has any valid claims or concerns that they can back up with actual evidence, they can contact the relevant law enforcement authorities.
‘I will be more than happy to work with any authorities conducting any official investigations. Otherwise, this is hearsay and nothing but a smear campaign.’
The report accuses Fajk of being behind the disappearance of a US$2.5 million (AU$3.67 million) shipment of medical supplies and syphoning off donations intended for the war effort.
‘The author of this report is aware of a massive shipment of medication delivered by one of his assets to Kyiv for distribution to the 1st and 3rd Battalion,’ it read.
After popping up as the Ukrainian foreign legion’s communications director at a press conference in war-torn Kharkiv last year, fellow soldiers are now accusing her of running scams in the war effort
Fajk (far right) appeared alongside three other foreign fighters, Aaron, Craig, and Ryan, at a press conference in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city
The officer wrote that the end user certificate for the shipment showed it arrived at a warehouse in Kyiv known as ‘the hub’ in late October, but never made it to troops on the front lines.
‘I have confirmed that none of this medication was ever delivered to the 1st or 3rd Battalions and have made considerable efforts to locate where the medication may have gone,’ they wrote.
The author explained they confronted Fajk about the missing shipment and she claimed to know nothing about its existence, but the asset who delivered it was willing to testify she was present when it arrived.
The EUC and photos of the drugs before delivery showed the shipment contained large quantities of painkillers like fentanyl, lidocaine, and ketamine, along with more common medications.
Ben Lackey, the legion’s then-medical director who organised the shipment, confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that the medication never made it to the field.
‘We know it arrived at the hub, but then it vanished, and very few people knew it was there,’ he said.
‘A good friend of mine was in agony for three hours, it’s a miracle he didn’t die of shock, because he didn’t have the supplies he was supposed to.’
The EUC showed the shipment contained large quantities of painkillers like fentanyl, lidocaine, and ketamine, along with more common medications
The shipment was delivered to a legion warehouse in Kyiv known as ‘the hub’ (pictured)
Mr Lackey said months later, when the heat started to be turned up Fajk, some of the supplies started mysteriously being found.
All of the Propofol and about half the other medications have ‘conveniently’ turned up in the past month.
The author of the report wrote they were ‘also aware of large amounts of additional donations made to the legion intended for the soldiers… were confiscated by Mockingjay and sent to places unknown’.
The legion until recently had two fundraising organisations set up to receive donations used to help fund its operations, both set up by Fajk and her former boss Damien Magrou.
Civil Front, based in Norway, and the legion charitable fund were solely controlled by Fajk and legionnaires complained of a lack of transparency.
The dossier alleged Fajk was caught on secret recording admitting she ‘routinely utilised the funds in this account for personal profit’.
Some of the medical supplies that disappeared, before they were boxed up and sent to the legion from elsewhere in Europe
Bottles of highly controlled intravenous drugs along with more common supplies like saline and glucose for use on the battlefield
A wider variety of the medical supplies that were sent to the legion before disappearing
Fajk being in charge of fundraising accounts also made it difficult to obtain donations as benefactors didn’t trust her.
‘This author had over two million in pledges from donors willing to help the Legion but when the articles about Mockingjay became public it was no longer possible to accept any donations lest the taint of her scandal extend to [me],’ the report read.
The report argued her reputation helped foster a perception that ‘the Legion is plagued by corruption, incompetence and abuse’.
‘This obviously has a chilling effect on both fundraising, logistical support and recruitment,’ it added.
The report alleged Fajk was a security threat, and included recordings of her threatening to release damaging information about the legion.
It further accused her of reversing an order to kick her out of the legion earlier this year by blackmailing a higher-ranking officer.
She also allegedly ‘threatened [legionnaires] with expulsion from the armed forces unless they did her bidding’.
Fajk two weeks earlier complained to a friend that she had been in Ukraine for three and a half months and was sick of wearing the uniform
The report concluded: ‘In every aspect of her job she has proven to be an abject failure.
‘She does not have the confidence of the rank and file of the soldiers, the local or international press or even those who work directly with her.
‘It is a nearly unanimously held belief within the legion that she is a cancer on the organization that must be excised lest she destroy the entire body of the organization itself.’
A second dossier alleges Fajk was ‘extremely susceptible to blackmail, bribery, extortion and/or open recruitment by officers of the Russian Federation Security Services’.
The two reports were compiled independently of each other months apart by senior members of the legion, but not ordered by legion commanders.
They were also sent to the US Embassy in Kyiv, which subsequently refused to have anything to to with Fajk and asked for a different liaison with the legion.
‘Cyber security expert’ Fajk placed the winning $4.2 million bid on Jimmy and Tam’s carefully renovated Block house in December 2020 (pictured)… but it never arrived
Fajk appeared in a promotional photo posted on Monday by the International Legion of Defense of Ukraine
Running away to join the foreign legion
Recruitment documents previously obtained by Daily Mail Australia show Fajk joined up on April 8, soon after the invasion begun on February 24.
The contract ‘of military service of foreign citizens and stateless persons’ stated she would serve in military unit A7420 and was signed by its commanding officer, Major Bodhan Molchanov.
Fajk used her real name and listed her address as being in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, rather than the Madeira islands where she was previously living.
A volunteer in her unit said Fajk was calling herself Abigél and made familiar claims about her history to what she used in the past.
‘She claimed that she worked for the UN and Apple and she was living in Portugal having owned a Tesla and a Porsche Taycan in a penthouses before coming to Ukraine,’ the source claimed.
‘I have every reason to believe… she came to Ukraine to legitimate herself by joining the International Legion of Defense of Ukraine.
‘I am genuinely concerned about how her actions and behaviour will affect the reputation and operation of the legion.’
The volunteer said Fajk claimed to have a monthly income of €10,000 (AU$14,860).
Recruitment documents obtained by Daily Mail Australia show Fajk joined up on April 8, and listed her address as being in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal
The contract ‘of military service of foreign citizens and stateless persons’ stated she would serve in military unit A7420 and was signed by its commanding officer, Major Bodhan Molchanov
Fajk at the time explained her role as the legion’s communications director, to which she was promoted on July 1, but made no mention of her past.
‘For the past four months I have been a serving member of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and will continue my service until Ukraine’s absolute victory,’ she said.
‘I have been working to amplify the legion’s voice, to share more personal stories, to create platforms and opportunities for our legionnaires to share their stories and experiences.
‘This is not about me and should not be about me. [The] focus should be on Ukraine, on Ukrainians defending their country, their freedom. On legionnaires coming to Ukraine to defend values, ideas, and people, from a barbaric invasion.
‘I would like to thank my team, my unit and my commanders for their continued support, trust, and friendship.
‘Serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine alongside Ukrainians and legionnaires from all across the world is an honour.’
Gunning down Russians in military uniform is a stark departure from her carefree life in Madeira (pictured) where she went deep sea diving almost daily
Fajk even appears in a promotional photo posted by the International Legion of Defense of Ukraine, posing with an AR-15 assault rifle.
‘You can bomb our cities. You can’t bomb the resistance,’ text over the top of the photo of Fajk in camouflage reads.
Fajk two weeks earlier complained to a friend that she had been in Ukraine for three and a half months and was sick of wearing the uniform.
‘This is the “I’m tired of the Ukrainian uniform and I wear my own stuff” phase,’ she said.
The International Legion of Defense of Ukraine was set up by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy three days after the invasion began.
The legion is somewhat controversial as many countries, including Australia, either ban or heavily discourage their citizens from fighting in foreign conflicts.
Ukraine said it would give citizenship to overseas fighters who had theirs stripped by their home country as a result of joining up.
The legion in April paused recruitment of foreign volunteers as so many signed up, at least 16,000 in the first two weeks of the invasion, many with no military experience.
Recruits have since faced much tougher requirements, to the point where Fajk would likely have been rejected if she applied just days later than she did.
Tales from the front lines tells of poorly trained and often undisciplined foreign recruits buckling at the horrors of war, and fleeing home within a few weeks claiming they felt like ‘cannon fodder’.
Fajk posted this photo of a bombed-out building in Ukraine a few weeks ago
Boyfriend’s sinking feeling about new Madeira love
Gunning down Russians in military uniform is a stark departure from her carefree life in Madeira where she went deep sea diving almost daily.
On February 18 last year – just days after publicly announcing she was ‘giving up’ on The Block house – Fajk left Australia for Europe.
She lived there under the name Abigél Fuchs and met cryptocurrency trader Steve Silva on Tinder.
Fajk explained to him that she had to leave Australia ‘because it got to the point where I just couldn’t exist there anymore’.
‘Yes, you’re right, I’m hiding. Not from the law… If I was in trouble with the law, I wouldn’t have been able to leave (Australia). I’m hiding from my problems and my life,’ she confessed in an April 15, 2021, email.
Mr Silva claimed Fajk pulled the same scam on her landlord in Madeira that she allegedly used on The Block’s producers in December 2020.
She is accused of sending her Portuguese landlord fake ‘proof of payment’ screenshots – just as she allegedly did the The Block home in Brighton, Victoria last year.
After fleeing The Block fallout in Australia, she moved to the tropical island of Madeira where she met rich crypto trader Steve Silva and played the perfect girlfriend, before allegedly pulling the same bank scam on her landlord, stealing her lover’s electronics, and skipping town
Fajk found a hobby in deep sea diving during her stay in Madeira. On left she holds a diver’s log book and on right she takes a selfie in a wetsuit
‘(She said) she was working with Apple and the United Nations, the same crap,’ the ex-boyfriend said in an interview.
‘She said she was a CEO and I was the first boyfriend she’d had who made more money than her.’
Their short-lived relationship took a turn after Fajk claimed that she’d gone into isolation because her landlord had registered a positive Covid test.
In WhatsApp messages, Fajk claimed she was going to the hospital to get tested. But a suspicious Mr Silva said he waited for Fajk to turn up there for ‘hours’ and she never showed.
As he waited, Mr Silva looked up the rental where Fajk was staying and found she had left a review with her normal picture, but an unfamiliar name: Emese.
A Google search of Emese’s name led him to discover a disturbing trove of news stories, including a series published by Daily Mail Australia last year.
‘I sat in the hospital’s café and was like, s**t, what did I get myself into?’ Mr Silva said.
Good place to escape to: The archipelago of Madeira (lower right, in green circle) is off the coast of Portugal and the north-western tip of Africa – far away from Australia
Some of the coastline of Madeira – a chain of islands in the North Atlantic – which Fajk called home for a time after fleeing Australia
What Mr Silva discovered was that Fajk had repeatedly been accused of sending fake bank screenshots to acquaintances in the past.
Last December, she sent The Block’s producer Julian Cress screengrabs of her ANZ online bank account as proof that she had paid the $426,500 deposit and $4,072,951 final settlement for Jimmy and Tam’s Palm Springs style home.
The money famously never arrived, with Fajk blaming an unnamed lawyer for the failed payment and claiming she didn’t have enough time to get the deal done.
Mr Silva soon learned that Fajk was – at that exact moment – accused of doing the same thing with her landlord in Funchal.
Her apartment’s owner – whom Daily Mail Australia agreed not to name – said Fajk recently sent him a screengrab showing an alleged $4,215 ANZ Bank transfer she had paid for rent.
But the money never came. All he has received is 200 Euro in cash.
‘She gave me 200 Euro only in cash. She said 200 more on Wednesday,’ he said.
Above is the ANZ Bank screenshot Emese Fajk sent to her landlord in Madeira, Portugal, recently, as proof of payment for the apartment she was living in
This is the ‘proof of payment’ Emese Fajk sent to Channel Nine last year as proof she had paid $4,072,951 to buy Jimmy and Tam’s property on The Block
After Fajk’s bizarre Block scandal was exposed in the Australian media, two former associates also came forward with similar allegations against Fajk.
A British ex-boyfriend said he received a payment slip showing she had transferred him £50,000 ($87,873) from Coutts Bank.
That money never arrived and an independent analysis showed the bank statement had clearly been photoshopped. (Fajk said the man’s claims were ‘vexatious and false’).
A Hungarian graphic designer likewise received an allegedly fake ANZ Bank slip from Fajk for a $1,000 bill.
It also never arrived, despite Fajk claiming in messages that she had called her bank and was told transfers were taking longer than usual.
Mr Silva, Fajk’s new boyfriend, was enraged when he confronted Fajk about her alleged deception in WhatsApp messages. He warned her that she was ‘in so much trouble’.
Fajk then blocked him, he said.
Date night! Fajk shares a meal with her ex-boyfriend in Madeira above. On right, she smiles for the camera during another meal
Ms Fajk’s ex-boyfriend then went to the local police station as she still had at least two of his possessions: a GoPro worth €510 ($757) and a diving watch worth €135 ($200).
In WhatsApp messages obtained by Daily Mail Australia, Fajk warned her landlord that Mr Silva had brought police to her apartment.
‘I sat in the hospital’s cafe and was like, s***, what did I get myself into?’
Emese Fajk’s ex-boyfriend Steve Silva
‘Steve is here with the police… I spoke to a lawyer, they can’t enter the building but the police won’t talk to me.
‘What he is saying is all BS but I don’t want to see any doors kicked in’.
The landlord replied: ‘Scammer!… You bailed without paying’.
On advice from police, Mr Silva emailed Fajk a formal demand asking she return the possessions to him by 6pm on Sunday or he would press matters further.
Fajk replied at 5.22pm that day: ‘I literally just saw your email. My lawyer will contact you tomorrow.’
No one has rang him since and he said the matter could take some time to resolve.
Fajk did not directly address several written questions posed to her by Daily Mail Australia, except to say she had nothing in her possessions that didn’t belong to her, deny she had ‘fled’ Australia and accuse her boyfriend of contacting the media to ‘pressure’ her.
She admitted ‘law enforcement and lawyers’ were involved in her current predicament.
As for Mr Silva, he said he is worried ‘this does not stop here – she will continue doing this in the next country that she goes.’
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11590001/The-Block-conwoman-Emese-Fajk-accused-ripping-Ukraine-war-effort.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 The Block ‘conwoman’ Emese Fajk accused of ripping off Ukraine war effort