Zdeněk Bakala has bested his rival Pavol Krupa once again, this time in US Federal Court. The federal court in South Carolina ruled that the Slovak businessman and owner of Krupa Global Investments, Pavol Krúpa, was waging a harassment campaign against him. Krúpa organized fake protests against Bakala, harassing him at home and work. According to the court, Krupa demanded $23 million from Bakala to stop the harassment.
Judge David C. Norton said the evidence clearly showed that Pavol Krupa organized the fake protests, hired actors to pose as civic activists in order to extort and harass Zdeněk Bakala, and his family, and made efforts to tarnish Bakala’s reputation with his business partners. The court concluded that Krúpa was motivated by the prospect of financial enrichment and that he was blackmailing Zdeněk Bakala for $23 million.
“It is a great result. I welcome the fact that the court has acknowledged the seriousness of the actions of Pavol Krupa, who has been harassing my family and loved ones for many years with the sole aim of enriching himself. It was a long legal process, but I am grateful that the United States justice system has been able to expose this web of lies,” Bakala responded to the verdict.
Norton ruled in Bakala’s favor because Krupa repeatedly failed to respond to the court. According to the judge, he last spoke in November 2019, when he rejected Bakala’s accusations and objected that the American court does not have any authority over him. However, the court subsequently rejected his assertions and called on him to provide further information, which he failed to do.
In his verdict, Judge Norton confirmed Judge Mary Gordon Baker’s earlier conclusion that Krupa’s actions were serious enough to be seen as blackmail and corruption by the U.S. judicial system. “In his submission, the plaintiff presented facts that convincingly demonstrate that the defendants were involved in blackmail and that their activities within the United States and abroad were aimed at the extortion business,” Judge Baker’s report said.
In addition to the aforementioned pressure actions in the United States, Krúpa led a similar campaign in the Czech Republic, and his then-company Arca Capital filed a criminal complaint in regards to OKD. After five years of investigation by the National Center against Organized Crime, this announcement was definitively postponed.
Among the defendants in the case was originally the American Adam Swart, the head of the American company Crowd on Demand, which specializes in deceptive communication with the public and protests to order. However, last January, Swart entered into an out-of-court agreement with Bakala, leaving Krúpa the only defendant in the case.
Bakala initially south damages of $73,358,718.00 plus $2,828,718.00 in attorneys fees. However, the court rejected Bakala’s claim for compensation as unfounded. At a future hearing, the date of which is being set by the court, the Czech-American investor is to provide evidence of how much money he has spent on “clarifying, explaining and reassuring his business and professional contacts” as a result of Krupa’s activity, which will serve as a basis for calculating compensation.