In a story like something out of a bad romance novel, an Israeli man has become the talk of the town online following the success of the Tinder Swindler Netflix documentary about a "Ponzi dating scheme" he allegedly ran across Europe, defrauding multiple women to the tune of ten million dollars.
He really has a penchant for all things douche-fluencer, as evidenced by the sheer number of "luxury private jet" photos he flaunts online.
Shimon Hayut, who goes by Simon Leviev online, is being accused of operating a Ponzi scheme through dating apps, specifically Tinder. He would -- allegedly -- pose as ultra-rich diamond mogul Lev Leviev's son while meeting up with women, wooing them with a sleek haircut and the appearance of fabulous wealth and luxury.
As the relationship would progress, Simon would find suddenly himself under attack by rivals and assassins and in need of quick money -- often for his personal bodyguard who was grievously injured while defending him from a knife attack-- and lean on his new significant other to tide him over. Leviev would claim he needed to use a credit card that wasn't in his name to avoid "being tracked" by the enemies that were trying to have him whacked.
His bodyguard is now suing Netflix, seeking millions in damages for his inability to work as a bodyguard and an apology.
And then he'd take the money and run. And he'd wash, rinse, repeat this method all across Europe, swindling numerous women out of hundreds of thousands of dollars each.
In reality, the wealthy lifestyle he was enjoying and using to woo these women was financed by the women themselves; he'd take the money and run, setting things up for the next one. Leviev was robbing Petra to pay Paula, essentially. While wooing new victims for his Ponzi scheme, Leviev would often send fake bank documents to his previous mark, indicating a transfer before disappearing and cutting off contact for good.
Cecilie Fjellhøy, Ayleen Charlotte and Pernilla Sjoholm are the three victims featured in the Netflix documentary.
Despite his alleged Ponzi scheme, outlined in the Tinder Swindler, Leviev has yet to be charged with anything -- though several European law enforcement entities are seeking his arrest alongside Interpol. He lives as a free man in Israel, where he's pretty much -- though seemingly content to keep posting all manner of douche-fluencer pics on Instagram.
Leviev, however, has served jail time. In 2019 he was arrested while trying to use a fake passport in Greece for financial crimes he committed in Israel in 2011. After serving fifteen months in prison he was released on good behavior and has since laid somewhat low in his home country. Until the recent Netflix documentary, that is.
He maintains his innocence, saying in a recent interview with Inside Edition that he was "just a single guy trying to meet some girls" and that the documentary was "like a complete made-up movie."
"I am the biggest gentleman in the world. They call me the Tinder Swindler. I am not a fraud and I am not a fake. People don't know me so they can't judge me.”