A ‘conwoman’ who emerged as a participant in the Ukraine war after fooling The Block has been caught on tape threatening to ‘burn the army to the ground’.
Emese Fajk, 30, fled Australia after 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 in 2021, she popped up in July as communications director for the Ukrainian Foreign Legion with the callsign ‘Mockingjay’.
Senior officers have accused her of abusing her position for financial gain, including stealing a medical supply shipment, and potentially being a Russian spy.
The accusations are detailed in confidential dossiers prepared for Ukrainian Ground Forces Command by senior legion officers with substantial intelligence experience, and obtained by Daily Mail Australia.
Fajk survived multiple attempts to bring her down, allegedly by forcing top Ukrainian army brass to protect her by threatening to leak damaging information.
Alleged The Block fraudster Emese Fajk, 30, is in Ukraine opposing the Russian invaders, even appearing in a promotional photo posing with an AR-15 assault rifle
Secretly recorded audio caught Fajk bragging about blackmailing Ukrainian Army general Andriy Ordynovych, codenamed ‘Zeus’.
She is heard explaining how an order was given to kick her out of the legion after she went on an overseas trip without authorisation.
‘As it turned out, they wanted to deport me for desertion and [orders were given] to terminate my contract,’ she said.
‘My only luck was that before this I spoke to Zeus, and they couldn’t touch me. I told Zeus if I’m not coming back to this thing, I’m going to go public on everything I know and why I’m being removed.
‘I told him, it’s not a threat against you, it’s nothing personal against you, but I will go public. So I’ve been almost kicked out, people talking s**t has consequences.’
In a recorded conversation with another Foreign Legion desk staffer, Fajk is questioned about how she pulled off her blackmail.
‘He knows that I know everything,’ she said, in reference to General Ordynovych.
The other woman replied: ‘You mean everything that’s happening in the s**t?’ which Fajk confirmed.
‘And that if he doesn’t work with you, you’re going to open your mouth? Are you kidding me?’
‘I told him to his face,’ Fajk revealed.
The incredulous comrade replied: ‘You told him to his face that you’re going to open your mouth! And what did he say?’
‘He’s protecting me, because he knows I know everything and he knows that I’m going to keep my mouth shut, he knows it right now,’ Fajk said.
Later in the recorded conversation, the rogue legionnaire made her most chilling threats to seriously damage the legion in the middle of a war.
‘Zeus is not personally involved, he’s not dirty, he’s a super stand-up guy, but he understands that if I go out and I start talking about everything I know and everything I’ve seen in the army and how spineless people are, it’s going to burn the army to the ground,’ she said.
‘Like, imagine if the Kyiv Independent (newspaper) published an article on everything I know, everything I know would be very damaging for the army and for Ukraine if it became public knowledge.
‘The corruption, the s**t going missing, the treatment foreigners get… if I start talking about this the army is going to fall apart with all the internal investigations that [would] have to be started.’
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 in a third conversation explained how her blackmail was able to get her unauthorised overseas trips retroactively approved by superiors.
She was accompanied on the jaunts to other parts of Eastern Europe by her then-boss and alleged co-conspirator Damien Magrou, who was later forced out of the legion over unrelated issues.
‘They also know that I have nothing to lose… if I don’t get a job ever again in my life I would just be bored,’ she said.
‘But it’s not like Damien when that article was coming out and we were trying to keep his name out of it because he was looking for a job and we don’t want him dragged into this, I’m not in that position.’
Fajk then discussed a scheme she was pushing to be transferred from the legion’s main 1st Battalion to the 4th Battalion, which only exists on paper.
Leaving the 1st Battalion would allow her to stay in her position without answering to her current battalion commander or anyone under him.
‘All I f**king want – and Zeus knows this, and Zeus also knows that SBU shanked me up and down, inside out – is being transferred to 4th Battalion,’ she said.
SBU is Ukraine’s intelligence agency, which previously investigated Fajk in the early days of the war, and is now looking into the more recent allegations against her.
One senior officer warned in a report to top commanders that the information she threatened to leak would be ‘catastrophically bad geopolitically’ if it was made public and ‘a huge propaganda victory to the enemy’.
Fajk repeated her threats in another recorded conversation with the same legion staffer in their office in Kyiv.
‘Did you just say you were going to throw Igor and Grinch under the bus and the 1st Battalion? And how are you hoping to throw under the bus a lieutenant-colonel and a whole Battalion?’ she was asked.
Fajk simply replied: ‘Watch me.’
She claimed herself and Mr Magrou got the previous 1st Battalion commander removed from his position in just two days, so it wouldn’t be difficult to repeat the feat if necessary.
Fajk claimed an unflattering video of the previous commander she and Mr Magrou leaked to a newspaper was the cause of his removal.
However, multiple senior officers told Daily Mail Australia the video had little to do with the battalion commander’s removal.
Instead it was a long campaign by Mr Magrou through backchannels, and only succeeded in reassigning him to commander of 3rd Battalion – a special forces unit to which he was far better suited.
‘She is saying that she and Damien were so powerful they got a colonel relieved of his command, and are willing to tear down the legion and the Ukrainian army if she is fired from her job,’ one of them explained.
‘But the key factor was Damien’s friend in [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy’s office. He provided all the political cover Damien needed.
‘He succeeded in only moving [the battalion commander] to his best level of competency.’
The officer said removing him was part of a larger attempt at consolidation of power by Mr Magrou that never came to fruition.
Fajk in a fifth recording addressed allegations by fellow legionnaires that she stole money from fundraising organisations set up to receive donations.
Reports by senior officers accused her of ‘financial crimes’ where ‘large amounts of additional donations made to the legion intended for the soldiers serving therein which were confiscated by Mockingjay and sent to places unknown’.
‘Money, like real money, and supplies never went through this office until now, so him claiming I’m in a position to steal shit is bats**t crazy,’ she said.
‘The issue they have is Damien and I always demanding transparency and accountability, and that’s not me having full control.’
Fajk vented about those making the allegations against her, claiming they would be better off simply proving she was not needed, if they could.
‘Honestly I would like people to come and talk to me before they go behind my back and have my head on the chopping block,’ she said.
‘Instead of getting leverage by getting the job done and saying “you don’t need Mockingjay, we can get everything done” they just talk bulls**t about me all the time. Like, f**k off.’
Fajk issued a statement on Instagram complaining about media coverage of the reports by senior officers.
‘I have, directly and indirectly, been in the way of people who have tried to exploit the legion, and their time in the legion for their own gain and reputation,’ she claimed.
‘These very same people are the sources of these baseless allegations and attacks that I have been a victim of for several months.’
Fajk denied the allegation she stole a multimillion-dollar shipment of medical supplies and angrily rejected concerns she could be working with the Russians.
‘To accuse me of working with the enemy after more time spent serving in Ukraine than those making these allegations, is not only laughable but downright disgusting,’ she wrote.
She also claimed Ukraine’s army and intelligence agencies assured her she wasn’t under any scrutiny.
However, Daily Mail Australia confirmed she is under investigation by SBU for allegedly stealing legion funds and possible links to Russian intelligence.
Fajk in an earlier statement to Daily Mail Australia 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.’
One 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.
Fajk (far right) appeared alongside three other foreign fighters, Aaron, Craig, and Ryan, at a press conference in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, in July
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.
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
The saga of The Block ‘conwoman’ Emese Fajk after she fled Australia to Portugal and Ukraine
Emese Fajk has lived at least four different lives since leaving her native Hungary, each layered with deception and alleged fraud.
The accused conwoman flew under the radar in New York and Australia until she appeared on The Block claiming to be a wealthy tech worker and won an auction for $4.2 million.
But she never paid up and allegedly gave the show’s producers fake ANZ bank slips, and left the country when she was found out.
From there she flew to Europe and started over – but it didn’t take long until there was more controversy.
‘Ripping off’ her boyfriend and landlord in tropical paradise
On February 18, 2021 – just days after publicly announcing she was ‘giving up’ on The Block house – Fajk left Australia for Europe.
She ended up on the Portuguese island of Madeira 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 received was €200 (AU$300) in cash.
‘She gave me €200 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.’
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.
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
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