The Tinder Swindler is now facing a formal lawsuit over his alleged actions.
Shimon Hayut, who went by Simon Leviev on social media, was dubbed “The Tinder Swindler” by a Netflix documentary of the same name after allegedly scamming multiple women for a total of $10 million. Hayut used the alter ego Leviev name claiming he was the son of the Israeli Russian diamond tycoon Lev Leviev.
As of March 1, the real-life Leviev and his family filed a lawsuit against Hayut for impersonating their name and using it to build up his own image. (Via People.)
As detailed in court documents obtained by the outlet and filed by Leviev in Tel Aviv, the family claims that “for a long time, he [Hayut] has been making false representations as being the son of Lev Leviev and receiving numerous benefits (including material ones).”
The documents allege that Hayut has been “cunningly using false words, claiming to be a member of the Leviev family, and that his family will pay and bear the costs of his benefits.”
As a result, Hayut is believed to have “defrauded, cheated, conned, falsified, and hurt women, men, and businesses” on an international scale, per court documents.
“The defendant used the dating application ‘Tinder’ to locate women who he then emotionally manipulated, cunningly bamboozled of funds, and eventually convinced to transfer large sums of money to him under the guise of being on the run from individuals intending on hurting him,” the lawsuit stated.
Chagit Leviev, the daughter of Lev Leviev and an heiress to the family’s fortune, said in a statement shared with media that Hayut is a “fraud who stole our family’s identity and has tried to exploit our good name to con victims out of millions of dollars.”
She continued, “He has no relation to the Leviev family and has no affiliation with our company LLD Diamonds. I am relieved that his real identity and actions have been globally exposed, and hopefully this will bring an end to his unscrupulous actions. The lawsuit we filed today is just the first step out of many we will be taking to have him face justice and get the sentence he deserves.”
Hayut has been banned from Tinder, Hinge, and various other dating apps since “The Tinder Swindler” premiered February 2. Three of Hayut’s alleged victims — Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjoholm, and Ayleen Charlotte — have since started a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to raise money to clear their debts following the release of the Netflix documentary.
Hayut was previously convicted of fraud, theft, and forgery, and sentenced to 15 months in prison in December 2019. He was released five months later. In his first media appearance since the documentary premiered, Hayut shared his side of the story during an “Inside Edition” interview on February 21.
“I’m not this monster,” Hayut said. “I was just a single guy that wanted to meet some girls on Tinder…I want to clear my name, I want to say to the world, ‘This is not true.'”
Hayut also added that he is a “legit businessman.” Since “The Tinder Swindler” dropped on Netflix, Hayut has signed with Gitoni talent management and joined Cameo, charging fans $199 for personalized video messages. Hayut also debuted an NFT collection and launched a T-shirt website emblazoned with the words “my enemies are after me.” Per the website, a “portion of the proceeds goes to Global Fund for Children.”
Leviev family attorney Guy Ophir revealed that more legal action is forthcoming, regardless of Hayut’s response.
“This legal action is only the beginning of a number of lawsuits that my firm is currently working on,” Ophir said in a statement. “In the next phase we will file a monetary suit against Hayut and any other affiliate that will work with him, including some websites that have joint ventures with Hayut and/or have offered to buy Cameos from him. Anyone that will try to capitalize from this scheme will be sued.”