What The Camera Didn't Show You About The Tinder Swindler

Simon Leviev, who is probably better known as the Tinder Swindler, thanks to the Netflix documentary by the same name, has become well-known because of his reported fraudulent behaviors against women he's met online. Esquire has explained the story quite well: In short, Leviev pretended to be a member of the famous Israeli billionaire family the Levievs, met women on Tinder, took them on expensive dates around the world, and then asked them for enormous amounts of money. The women complied, thinking their new boyfriend needed their support — but Leviev had already moved on to the next victim in his web of deceit. 

While the documentary covers plenty, there's still a lot to learn about Leviev (who was born Shimon Hayut before legally changing his name, though some publications use that name to refer to him). For starters, the diamond family he pretended to be part of has completely rejected his side of events, even going so far as to file a police report against him in Israel — and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Here is a glimpse into what else Leviev has reportedly been up to.

The Tinder Swindler also faked being a medical worker

It seems that defrauding women on dating apps isn't the only wrong that Simon Leviev has reportedly committed. In December 2020, The Times Of Israel revealed that the man the world would go on to know as the "Tinder Swindler" allegedly pretended to be a medical worker so that he could receive a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine early. The incident became widely known due to Leviev's own volition — the publication notes officials were made aware of his vaccination when he posted a video on social media of himself receiving the shot.

Leviev received his vaccine at the Clalit medical center in Israel. As the Times shares, while he was initially denied entry into the center, he was eventually able to enter with a group of medical workers. The health center issued a statement confirming Leviev's claim, and noted, "As soon as it became clear that it was an impersonation, we began to investigate the incident, including refreshing instructions on the matter. It is regrettable that there are people who are harming the trust shown by staff and we condemn this act."

Leviev has denied the allegations, issuing a statement saying that he couldn't have received the shot as he does not like to wait. As he put it, "With all due respect, I will not sit and wait 3-4 hours. I am not someone who waits and no one can say a word about it" (via The Times of Israel).

The Leviev family has filed a criminal report against the Tinder Swindler

As the story goes, Simon Leviev defrauded women he met on Tinder by telling them his name was Simon Leviev and that he was a member of the billionaire diamond family from Israel with the same last name. After dating the women for a few weeks, taking them on lavish trips, and making any number of promises, he would suddenly experience an "emergency" and claim he needed huge sums of money (via CBS News).

The real Leviev family is understandably outraged by what Leviev has managed to pull off in their name. A company spokesperson has explained to Newsweek that there is absolutely no genuine connection between the Levievs' company, LLD Diamonds, and Simon Leviev, adding, "He is a fraud who has tried to exploit our good name to con victims out of millions of dollars." 

The family went on to note that they filed a police report against Leviev in 2019 after learning of his actions; he was subsequently arrested the same year and sentenced to 15 months in prison (per Newsweek). Additionally, Rolling Stone reported in February 2022 that the Leviev family is suing the "crook and deceiver who changed his name for criminal purposes." 

The Tinder Swindler also posed as a real estate expert

One aspect of the rumors and allegations surrounding Simon Leviev that has been particularly confusing is that there are still organizations and outlets that are willing to give him the opportunity to disprove what so many believe to be true. For example, in 2021 Vents Magazine published a series of tips from Simon Leviev, who is described as a "millionaire of repute" who "has played the high stakes in the world of real estate for years." While the magazine makes note of the Netflix film about Leviev's reported behavior, that doesn't seem to detract from his apparent real estate expertise.

In the interview, Leviev offers advice for people who are just beginning a career in the world of real estate. In one tip, he advises those interested in the field to get to know people who can help them out. As he puts it, "Your networks and your relationship with them can either pull the rug from under your feet or place it just when you needed it the most. So choose wisely" (via Vents Magazine).

The Tinder Swindler's father is a rabbi

While Simon Leviev, aka the Tinder Swindler, claims to be a member of Israel's famous Leviev family, his actual father is Rabbi Yohanan Hayut. As shared by The Times Of Israel, Hayut works as the rabbi for El Al Airlines, and has even been accused of engaging in fraud all on his own. Hayut was questioned by police in late 2019, and was accused of introducing potential business contacts to his son and allowing those people to believe he was actually a Leviev.

Police also believed that Hayut may have even helped Leviev leave Israel back in 2017. While reviewing text messages purportedly sent by the rabbi, authorities found a text that appears to be in reference to Leviev and the allegations against him. The text reads in part, "Believe me, it was not a simple operation to get him out; and believe me, he is bringing in results that no one brought, so, my dear, [I] ask of you to give him what he needs" (via The Times of Israel).

One man, who claims he was defrauded by both Hayut and his son, told the Israeli news source that he was focused on exacting revenge. As he put it, "I want to look him in the eyes and accuse him for daring to cooperate with his son and defraud me."

The Tinder Swindler has allegations of fraud against him going back to 2011

Allegations of fraud have been made against Tinder Swindler Simon Leviev for well over a decade. While the Netflix documentary explores relationships Leviev began with women dating back to 2018, this is far from the first time he's gotten into legal trouble. As reported by Haaretz and The Times Of Israel, Hayut was forced to leave Israel in 2011 after being charged with theft, forgery, and fraud for trying to cash stolen checks. He was able to move to Finland following his run from Israel, and reportedly began meeting and defrauding women there.

After returning to and then leaving Israel for a second time in 2017, he legally changed his last name from Hayut to Leviev. This swap is reportedly the action that made it easier for him to carry on portraying himself as a member of the massively wealthy diamond family, but he claims that wasn't his intent. As he told Israel's Channel 12, "I have the right to choose whatever name I want, I never presented myself as the son of anyone, but people use their imaginations" (via The Times of Israel).

The Tinder Swindler's girlfriend supports him

While a pretty hefty case has definitely been built against the Tinder Swindler Simon Leviev, not everyone who knows him believes the allegations. In fact, his girlfriend, Kate Konlin, has been more than happy to share just how much she supports Leviev. The pair sat down for a joint interview with Inside Edition in February 2022, and the 24-year-old Ukrainian-born model defended her boyfriend and denied the allegations raised in the Netflix documentary. Konlin was quick to affirm her belief that Leviev has been telling the truth about his past, commenting in the interview, "My God, it is like, how [can someone] build such a fake story?" 

In a separate interview with Mako in 2021, Konlin offered details about how she and Leviev had met. She explained that the two met up after four months of chatting via Instagram, and that Leviev was honest with her from the beginning of their journey together. As she said, "He did not hide anything from me, it was important to him that I know everything about him from the beginning."

Konlin went on to insist that the amounts of money that have been claimed to have been stolen by Leviev is "equal to the gifts he buys me on Saturday," adding that her boyfriend's supposed ability to spend impressive amounts of money at the drop of a hat should indicate he doesn't need to steal the money from anyone.

The Tinder Swindler might have more victims

The Netflix documentary about Simon Leviev's alleged exploits largely focuses on the stories of three women: Cecilie Fjelljøy, Pernilla Sjoholm, and Ayleen Charlotte. Each of the women have a different, but still very similar tale: They met Leviev on Tinder, were wooed for a handful of weeks and flown to locations around the world, and then were suddenly asked to send large sums of money to help Leviev with various emergencies. 

However, it seems that there are more victims out there. Radar Online reported that the publication had been in touch with another victim who has asked to remain anonymous because of the reaction that the women who have come forward have received. As she put it, "The common reaction to this is that we are just a bunch of stupid money digging women who deserved this."

Felicity Morris, who directed the Netflix documentary, told The Guardian that there are definitely more victims who didn't want to make their stories public.

The Tinder Swindler has gone unpunished in 7 other countries

When the Tinder Swindler Simon Leviev was finally apprehended by authorities in Greece in July 2019, he was wanted in several countries. As shared by Esquire, these included Israel, Sweden, England, Germany, Denmark, and Norway. He was sent back to his native Israel by the police in Greece, and was insistent that he didn't commit the crimes he was accused of. As he told Israel's Channel 12, the women themselves were the actual problem. He explained, "Maybe their hearts were broken during the process ... I never took a dime from them; these women enjoyed themselves in my company, they traveled and got to see the world on my dime" (via The Times of Israel).

One of the women in the Netflix documentary, Pernilla Sjöholm, told Esquire that she and others have pursued legal action against Leviev at the European Court of Justice, but to no avail. A woman who requested to be anonymous said more or less the same, explaining that she had been told by Interpol that nothing could be done against Leviev as long as he remains in Israel.