Levievs sue Tinder Swindler for stealing name

Shimon Hayut, villain of Netflix documentary, pretended to be Lev Leviev’s son

National /
Mar.March 02, 2022 11:15 AM

From left: Lev Leviev, real estate and diamond mogul; Shimon Hayut, Israeli conman convicted of theft, forgery and fraud (Getty Images, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

Shimon Hayut’s swindling ways may be catching up to him: He is being sued by the family of Israeli diamond and real estate tycoon Lev Leviev.

The “Tinder Swindler,” as he was dubbed by a Netflix documentary of that same title, is being sued for pretending to be Leviev’s son and appropriating the family name, the Times of Israel reported. The suit was filed in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.

“For a long time he presented a false impression that he is the son of Lev Leviev, receiving multiple benefits (including material), all of it through deceit and falsehoods,” the lawsuit alleges. “[The Leviev family] will pay and bear the costs of these benefits.”

A successful lawsuit could aid the women swindled by Hayut, who went by the name Simon Leviev when targeting his victims. A lawyer said money recovered from Hayut would be donated to victims, according to the Times of Israel. Some of them have five- and six-figure debts after falling for the con.

One of Lev Leviev’s actual children made a statement to NBC News, saying she hopes Hayut faces justice.

“Shimon 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,” Chagit Leviev said. “I am relieved that his real identity and actions have been globally exposed, and hopefully this will bring an end to his unscrupulous actions.”

Chagit Leviev moved to New York to run the Leviev Group’s U.S. operations and her father’s real estate firm Africa Israel USA.

In the documentary, Hayut usurped the family name to help him con millions of dollars out of women he found through dating apps. He took women on exorbitant dates and vacations, persuading them to open credit lines so adversaries couldn’t track him, using ill-gotten gains from previously duped women to pay the tabs.

Several victims and a team of Norwegian journalists exposed Hayut, who has since been banned from Tinder and other dating apps.

In December 2019, Hayut was sentenced to 15 months in jail in Israel, but only served five. According to the Times of Israel, Hayut also served two and a half years in a Finnish prison after being convicted of defrauding three women.

Lev Leviev is one of the world’s preeminent diamond traders. His real estate firm, Africa Israel, was a prominent condo builder in the 2000s before selling off most of its holdings amid the global financial crisis.

[Times of Israel] — Holden Walter-Warner





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