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The organizer of demonstrations with pro-Russian speakers, Ladislav Vrabel, spoke out against the government’s covid measures, but that did not prevent him from collecting covid subsidies from the state at the same time.
Seznam News already revealed in February that as an executive of three companies that claimed to run restaurants, he received a total of 2.4 million crowns from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO) for the year 2021. As compensation for allegedly not being able to earn.
Companies are no longer functioning today. At least part of the funds from them immediately went to the account of Vrabel’s Serbian wife. Vrabel also used the same account to collect donations for demonstrations. Vrabel himself declares that he has no assets and thus avoids paying off the millions of debts he has, among other things, to the state. But at the same time he bought gold bars.
The South Bohemian police have now accused Vrabel of subsidy fraud. He faces up to eight years in prison.
“I can only confirm in general that the case is being investigated by the Criminal Police Service and the investigation of the regional police directorate for suspected subsidy fraud with a loss of almost 1,700,000 crowns. The company executive, a man from České Budějovice, has already been charged in the case in recent days,” South Bohemian police spokesman Jiří Matzner wrote to Seznam Zprávám.
Vrabel maintains his innocence and links the prosecution to anti-government events and the system’s attempt to destroy him.
His lawyer Radek Suchý confirmed to the editors that Vrabel is being prosecuted. “On Tuesday, the client was served with a resolution on the initiation of criminal prosecution,” the lawyer said, adding that his client was charged under § 212 of the Criminal Code, which means subsidy fraud. “Although the police authority is proceeding according to this provision, it must be emphasized that the matter concerns covid compensations for legal entities in which the client worked during the given period,” further stated attorney Suchý, adding that they consider the accusations to be fabricated and meaningless and will file against him complaint.
The accused Vrabel commented on the matter in a Facebook video. “I did what all normal company executives did – they tried to get covid subsidies (…) and now they accuse me of being a fraud,” Vrabel said on the social network.
He did not respond to Seznam Zpráv’s questions, but he described on the website what exactly the police are prosecuting him for. “It is a document that is based on what Lukáš Valášek wrote on Seznam in February – the nonsense about the fact that the wife’s company, which ran a business near the Vltava river and ran refreshments there, was not allowed to do business there, and therefore to apply for covid subsidies ” added Vrabel.
How Vrabel came to public money:
The trio of companies to which the state sent millions were officially registered to Vrabel’s Serbian wife, Bojana Vurdelja.
Vrabel could not officially own the company. Indeed, the insolvency administrator would also use the company’s assets to pay off its debts. For avoiding this, the court canceled Vrabel’s debt relief in January and concluded that he was pursuing a dishonest plan.
For example, the company Cimeries Praha alone, which Vrabel managed, used more than 860 thousand crowns from the state budget. In the applications, Vrabel stated that it was to compensate for the covid losses for the “boat restaurant / pizzeria with a burger grill and a bar with mixed drinks”, which he has been running since 2016 on land near the Vltava near Český Krumlov. He also wrote that it has 120 seats.
But it has its hooks. The building authority previously confirmed to reporters that in the past no restaurant had legally stood in this location and could not even stand due to the zoning plan. Vrabel used only two black-built shelters. In addition, the company was fined by hygiene in the past for defects.
But the state did not solve it. The land was registered to Vrabel’s Serbian mother-in-law, who submitted documents that her relative was paying her hundreds of thousands for rent, which the ministry also compensated.
Nauzal also has documents from which it is evident that at least part of the money paid by the state to Cimeries Prague immediately disappeared.
The ministry sent the amount of 278 thousand crowns of public support to the company account in May 2021. Within two days, Vrabel transferred almost all the money to the private bank account of his Serbian wife.
Where did the money go?
This is the same account where his supporters sent him more than 1.2 million crowns, which Vrabel claimed he was using to organize anti-government demonstrations. The insolvency administrator Martin Koubek is still trying to get Vurdelja to send him the money to pay off Vrabel’s debts.
The state also sent more than 600,000 as covid compensation to the company Originala CB, which employed Vrabel. One of the applications shows that as of January 2021, the only two employees of Original CB were Ladislav Vrabel and Bojana Vurdelja.
Vrabel pledged that he would gradually repay his debts from the salary from Original CB. But what happened to the money from the state is not clear. They did not go to pay off creditors. Vrabel later claimed that the company he ran himself did not pay him.
Not one of Vrabel’s three companies, which the state subsidized, is active today. Since their establishment, they have not complied with the law and have not published their financial statements, for which they are also at risk of being annulled by the court.
Vrabel claims that his wife no longer owns the companies and he is not their manager either. And he doesn’t even know who his wife sold them to. But they are still written on them in the commercial register.
What Ladislav Vrabel owes
- Vrabel owes 2.7 million crowns. Even before he entered insolvency, he had 27 foreclosures.
- The state is also among the creditors, because Vrabel, for example, has not paid the insurance for twenty years, from which the Czech Republic pays people’s pensions.
- VZP has not paid health insurance since 2000.
- He didn’t even pay the fines for driving in the dark on České Budějovice public transport, some from 1999.
- He did not repay the loan from Komerční banka, he did not pay the fees for garbage cans or electricity.
- He also owes 200,000 to billionaire Karl Janeček, who transferred the debt to his foundation. Even with interest and fines, the amount climbed to over 400,000.