Tomas Fiala is back in the spotlight after he bought a major Ukrainian media outlet ‘Ukrainska Pravda’.
In his interview with Dmytro Ryasnyi and Roman Kravets, the Czech financier opened up on his early career, meeting with George Soros, role of Dragon Capital in Motor Sich deal between Boguslayev and Chinese investors, and his wife’s donations for ‘Golos’ party.
He also provided some details on ‘Ukrainska Pravda’ acquisition and spoke about future plans for his growing media company.
The interview lacked tough questions and left out Tomas Fiala’s past controversies.
Dragon Capital CEO shrugged off criticism over his alleged assets in occupied Crimea claiming that he is only a minority stockholder in Simferopol shopping centre ‘Pivdennya Galereya’ owned by his Estonian business partner Hillar Teder.
‘Bukvy’ looks back at the stories that dented Tomas Fiala reputation.
Property fraud scheme and alleged ties with a Swedish diplomat
The story dates back to 2010s when Tomas Fiala resided at in the apartment building at 13 Kruglouniversytetska St.
At about that time, Dragon Capital CEO expanded his apartment by falsely claiming the right to the co-op building attic. The Czech financier hired the renovation company ‘Divis’ for the place overhaul that soon added the penthouse without a proper permit.
Citing a debt of 9 thousand hryvnas that Fiala failed to pay, the contractor refused to pass the overhaul documents to the financier. Dragon Capital CEO filed a complaint against the company ‘Divis’ with Pecheresk District Court in Kyiv – the judge eventually sided with Fiala granting him full ownership rights to the expanded property.
It is remarkable that the ruling came from Serhiy Vovk who later won notoriety for his numerous controversial decisions.
Swedish diplomats Hultgren Gustav Claus and Sturen Carl Olaf, who at the time were Tomas Fiala’s neighbors, also used the same scheme that allowed them to claim parts of the co-op building attic. The later of the Swedes is now an Honory Consul of Sweden in Kakhovka, Kherson region.
Tomas Fiala’s wife bringing to a halt traffic in Kyiv’s centre
The story made the headlines in March, 2015, when Nataliya Fiala parked her brown ‘Porsche Cayenne’ right on tramway tracks in Kyiv’s centre bringing disruption to public transport operations for several hours.
Kyiv Tram Operator took the case to court claiming damages in Kyiv Pechersk District Court.
Notably, Nataliya Fiala was a no-show at court and refused to pay her fine for the parking violation.
His father-in-law’s involvement with ‘Khreshchatyk’ Bank
Viktor Fukleev is a banker and Tomas Fiala’s father-in-law, who came to work as deputy chairperson at ‘Khreschatyk’ bank in 2002. The bank was eventually declared bankrupt by National Bank of Ukraine in 2016.
It took four years for State Deposit Guarantee Fund to finalize closure of ‘Khreshchatyk’ Bank and pay off over 2,7 billion hryvnas in funds lost due to its mismanagement.
Learn more about Tomas Fiala’s media empire from the investigation by ‘Bukvy’.