The convicted fraudster and subject of Netflix’s popular true crime documentary, The Tinder Swindler, is being sued by the real Leviev diamond family he claimed to be a part of, according to Page Six.
The lawsuit was filed in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court in Israel on behalf of the Leviev family, whose patriarch, Lev Leviev, is a diamond tycoon. They are suing Shimon Hayut, who has been using the alias Simon Leviev, for allegedly impersonating them and unjustly enriching himself by using their last name. The website for the Leviev family’s attorney, Guy Ophir, confirmed that the suit has been filed against the alleged “Tinder Crook.”
“For a long time, he has been making false representations as being the son of Lev Leviev and receiving numerous benefits (including material ones), cunningly and 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,” the lawsuit alleges, according to Page Six.
“He even used the LLD Diamonds trademark to make his victims believe that he was indeed part of the diamond company (it’s CEO no less, per his signature) and was a member of the Leviev Family.”
The Netflix documentary, which hit the streaming service on Feb. 2, accuses Hayut of claiming to be the son of Leviev in order to woo women on Tinder and con them out of money. While it’s not clear how many women he swindled, the film estimates that he collected about $10 million from people around the world.
Hayut, who is apparently still using the Leviev name, was convicted of fraud, theft, and forgery and sentenced to 15 months in prison in December, 2019, but was released after five months.
The lawsuit arrives two weeks after Hayut signed with a Los Angeles talent agent who said that he wants to write a book, host a dating podcast, or star in a competitive dating show. TMZ also reported that Hayut has been charging $20,000 for nightclub appearances, and that he’s received offers from clubs in Philadelphia, Boston, Germany, and Mexico. That hefty fee includes requests for bottle service at the club, as well as a private jet, a 5-star hotel suite, black SUV car service, and two full-time security guards, TMZ reports.
The conman is also allegedly selling merchandise including t-shirts that read: “Peter’s Hurt. Send Money,” “If she really loves you she’ll take out a $20,000 loan for you,” and “My Enemies Are After Me.”
Chagit Leviev, who is the daughter of the diamond tycoon and CEO of Leviev Group USA, told Page Six that their family business has been active for 40 years, supplying unique and rare diamonds to premier jewelers around the world. They have provided accessories for stars like Salma Hayek, Charlize Theron, and international royalty, she said.
“We started hearing word about Simon Leviev in 2017. There are nine siblings in my family, five brothers – and none of them are called Simon – and four girls,” she told Page Six.
“Soon I started hearing from diamond dealers that he’d made out checks of $350,000 in our name, but they were not our checks. Then another company called us and said we owed them $600,000 for private jets. They sent me a picture of his passport; it was Shimon Hayut.”
She said that her family went to the police, but Hayut “was moving through so many different countries it was hard to keep track of him.”
“The biggest shock is when we saw the Netflix show and we saw the extent of his damage and his manipulation,” she told Page Six. “The truth is, that show is just the tip of the iceberg. For him to live that life, he has to be conducting an international fraud of enormous proportions. There must be so many other victims.”
Her family also has evidence of Hayut “using charter companies, yachts, high end apartment rentals, it goes on and on,” she added.
Ophir, the family’s attorney, told People magazine that more legal action against Hayut may be forthcoming.
“This legal action is only the beginning of a number of lawsuits that my firm is currently working on,” Ophir wrote. “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.”
Chagit said that any proceeds from the lawsuit will be given back to Hayut’s victims.
“Even though we are a diamond company, we are victims too. We are getting threats because of this, endless prank calls saying, ‘My enemies are coming for me,’” she told Page Six. “I believe the show didn’t do a good enough job of explaining that we have nothing to do with him.”
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