‘The Tinder Swindler’ sued by actual Leviev family over impersonation

Shimon Hayut aka Simon Leviev, the subject of Netflix’s The Tinder Swindleris facing a lawsuit from the real Leviev family which he pretended to be a part of.

In court documents obtained by PeopleIsraeli Russian diamond tycoon Lev Leviev and his family have filed a lawsuit against Hayut for allegedly impersonating them and “receiving numerous benefits (including material ones)” for using the family name.

The lawsuit, filed in Tel Aviv, claims 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 cost of his benefits”.

The court documents allege that Hayut “defrauded, cheated, conned, falsified, and hurt women, men and businesses” all over the globe.

“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 reads.

Guy Ophir, the attorney for the Leviev family, has said this is “only the beginning” of their legal action against Hayut, with more lawsuits in the works.

In a statement to Metro.co.uk, a representative for Hayut denied any wrongdoing. “Simon believes the family is just trying to insert themselves in the narrative for publicity after the show’s success.

“Simon also legally changed his name in 2015 and looks forward to this getting thrown out in court.”

Hayut is estimated to have allegedly stolen $10million (£7.4million) from a number of victims under the alias of Simon Leviev, after gaining their trust with the promise of expensive dates.

Since the Netflix series aired, Hayut has been banned from Tinder, Hinge and other dating apps. He recently joined Cameo where he’s charging $300 (£148) for personalized video messages.

Hayut previously served five months of a 15-month prison sentence in Israel after traveling with a fake passport in 2019, where he was released on good behaviour. He also served two years in prison in Finland in 2015 after being charged for defrauding three women, according to The Times Of Israel.

Three of Hayut’s alleged victims – Cecilie Fjellhøy, Ayleen Koeleman and Pernilla Sjoholm – have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to clear their debts following the documentary’s release.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo