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Crime News

Who Is 'Tinder Swindler' Shimon Hayut, Who Posed As A Billionaire On Tinder?

Shimon Hayut pretended to be a billionaire playboy named Simon Leviev so he could convince multiple women into giving him hundreds of thousands of dollars.

By Gina Tron
Tinder Swindler

Multiple women who swiped right on a man who identified himself as billionaire diamond mogul Simon Leviev, thought they hit the jackpot or more accurately the diamond mine — but really they had just connected with a conman.

This is the true story at the heart of “The Tinder Swindler,” a new true crime documentary streaming on Netflix. 

“It’s not easy to find love online, so when Cecilie matches with a handsome billionaire playboy, she can’t quite believe it when he turns out to be the man of her dreams,” a synopsis for the doc states. “But dreams aren't reality and by the time she discovers this international businessman isn’t who he says he is, it’s too late. He’s taken her for everything. Where this fairytale ends, a revenge thriller begins.”

But Cecilie gets her revenge: “Cecilie discovers his other targets and once they band together, they're victims no more.”

The conman, Shimon Hayut, was posing as a man called Simon Leviev. He came up with the identity so he could pose as the son of real Russian-Israeli diamond mogul Lev Leviev. Then, he wined and dined multiple women. 

However, nothing about Leviev was real. But as “The Tinder Swindler” reveals, his grift was quite convincing. He even went so far as to hire a team of fake assistants and business partners so he could pose as a diamond CEO who was always jet-setting from country to country. However, the very same lavish lifestyle he used to lure women in was being fueled by their funds. He successfully conned multiple women, many of which he met off the dating app Tinder, out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He would ask them to take out lines of credit for him, claiming he needed to hide under different names because he was being threatened. He had even previously served a two-year sentence in a Finnish prison for conning three women with the same scheme in 2015.

Victims Cecilie Fjellhoy, Pernilla Sjoholm and Ayleen Charlotte are featured in the documentary. Fjellhoy told ABC News in 2019 that he tricked her out of $200,000.

Hayut, who called himself “the Prince of Diamonds” was ultimately arrested in 2019 during a joint operation between Interpol and Israeli Police. He was caught after he was found using a fake passport, according to a 2021 Variety report. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison later that year and ordered to pay $43,289 in compensation in December 2019. After serving five months, he was released. 

And he has apparently not learned his lesson. 

He reportedly posed as a front-line medical worker in 2020 to get a COVID-19 vaccine when they weren't yet available to the general public, The Times of Israel reported. He still has an Instagram account, albeit private, under the name Simon Leviev and it has more than 90,000 followers.