The man known as the ‘Tinder Swindler,’ who was exposed in a new Netflix documentary earlier this month for allegedly swindling women out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, is speaking out for the first time, claiming the streamer’s portrayal of him is all wrong and that he is ‘not this monster.’
Shimon Heyada Hayut, 31, from Israel, who operated under several aliases, including Simon Leviev, allegedly lured women with private jets, yachts and fancy cars.
He is the center of the bombshell Netflix documentary now seen by more than 50 million people worldwide – but in his first TV interview since the film’s release, Hayut calls it a made up story.
‘I’m not a ‘Tinder Swindler,”’ Hayut told Inside Edition in a preview clip of the exclusive two-part interview that airs next week.
‘I’m not a fraud and I’m not a fake. People don’t know me – so they cannot judge me.’
‘I was just a single guy that wanted to meet some girls on Tinder’, he said, adding that he is the ‘biggest gentleman.’
Hayut’s ‘model girlfriend’ Kat Konlin appears by his side in the interview, and Inside Edition promises to share ‘why she is sticking with him.’
The two-part interview airs Monday, February 21, and Tuesday, February 22.
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‘I’m not a ‘Tinder Swindler’,’ Shimon Heyada Hayut told Inside Edition in a preview of the exclusive two-part interview that airs Monday. A new Netflix doc exposes his alleged ploys of swindling women out of hundreds of thousands of dollars
Hayut’s ‘model girlfriend’ appears by his side in the interview, and Inside Edition promises to share ‘why she is sticking with him’
Shimon Heyada Hayut (pictured), 31, from Israel, who operated under several aliases, including Simon Leviev, fooled women he met on Tinder into thinking he was the son of a billionaire diamond merchant before scamming them out of millions
Hayut was ultimately arrested in 2019 and charged with fraud, theft, and forgery. He was released in May 2020 for ‘good behavior’
Hayut’s Instagram was removed following backlash after the documentary aired, but it reappeared on February 9
Hayut is the center of the shocking Netflix documentary now seen by more than 50 million people worldwide
The convicted conman – who would pose as ‘Simon Leviev,’ son of the billionaire Russian-Israeli diamond mogul Lev Leviev – would shower women he met on Tinder with lavish trips and gifts, using money he had taken from other victims.
He would then ask for more funds under the guise of needing to protect his identity due to security concerns.
Hayut – who was ultimately arrested and charged with fraud, theft and forgery – spent five months in prison before he was released on ‘good behavior’ in May 2020.
However, soon after getting out of prison, he began sharing photos on Instagram of his himself enjoying a life of luxury, and continued to flaunt his glamorous activities up until the entire account was removed following backlash from the documentary.
He posted the message: ‘I will share my side of the story in the next few days when I have sorted out the best and most respectful way to tell it, both to the involved parties and myself. Until then, please keep an open mind and heart.’
However, hours later, the account disappeared completely.
On February 9, the account was back and he has been once again sharing photos of his lavish lifestyle.
Photos show the 31-year-old partying on a yacht, eating in expensive restaurants, staying in five-star hotels, taking numerous helicopter rides, skydiving and vacationing all over the world.
On February 9, Hayut’s Instagram account was back and he has been once again sharing photos of his lavish lifestyle
Hayut’s Instagram page shows the alleged con man sharply dressed as he continues his lavish lifestyle at parties, on yachts and traveling all over the world
Hayut has been posting photos to his reactivated Instagram account
In the Netflix documentary, which came out on February 2, three of his alleged victims – Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjöholm and Ayleen Charlotte – spoke out about how Hayut convinced them to hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Hayut – who allegedly stole an estimated $10 million over the years, according to People Magazine – told them he was the son of Israeli diamond merchant Lev Leviev.
The Times of Isreal reported that although Lev and his diamond business LLD Diamonds is real, he has no relation to Hayut and has ‘filed a complaint against him with police for falsely presenting himself as his son.’
Norwegian graduate student Cecilie, who was 29 when she dated Hayut, claimed she gave Hayut more than $270,000 over the course of their relationship, after they connected via Tinder in January 2018.
She explained in the doc that she was completely wooed by Shimon after he flew them from Bulgaria to London via a private plane for their first date.
He would shower the women he met on the dating app with expensive trips and opulent gifts, using the money he had taken from his other victims.
He would then ask them for funds – claiming he was in danger and needed money to protect his identity from people who were out to kill him due to his dangerous diamond business.
Hayut was eventually arrested – after he was caught with a fake passport – and was convicted in December 2019. He was released the following May, after serving five months of his 15-month sentence.
He was also ordered to pay his victims $43,289, and to pay a fine of $5,771 under the terms of a plea deal.
Hayut had previously served two years in a Finnish prison back in 2015, after being charged for defrauding three different women.
He was also reportedly forced to flee his home country of Israel in 2011 to avoid fraud-related offenses that he had committed in his early 20s.
Cecilie Fjellhøy (pictured left), Ayleen Koeleman, and Pernilla Sjoholm set up the GoFundMe profile in the hopes of raising £600,000 after receiving a flood of support from sharing their story in the Netflix documentary, The Tinder Swindler (pictured right)
The trio of victims were conned into giving Shimon Heyada Hayut money, while believing that he was hiding from his enemies. Pictured: Ayleen Koeleman
The trio featured in the Netflix documentary set up a GoFundMe with the hope of raising £600,000 which is about $815,652 in U.S. dollars after receiving a flood of support from sharing their story in the Netflix documentary.
But an Instagram story from an account claiming to belong to Hayut slammed the women’s campaign.
‘Go ahead and help real associations… not these manipulators. This is what is called MARKETING,’ Hayut wrote on the social media profile before it was deleted, according to The Independent.
Cecilie, Ayleen and Pernilla say Hayut scammed them by claiming that he needed to borrow money because using his own funds could lead him to be traced by his enemies.
It is unclear how many other people fell for the scam but it is estimated that he conned his victims out of £7.4 million.
He has never been charged for scamming Cecilie, Ayleen or Pernilla, but was jailed in Israel for use of a fake passport in 2019 in Greece.
Cecilie, Ayleen and Pernilla raised more than £18,000 within 24 hours of launching their fundraising page and said that they are grateful for any help after being defrauded large sums. Currently, they have raised £147,689 which is just over $200,00 in US dollars.
The trio’s fundraiser read: ‘You’re probably here because you’ve heard about our story, and we appreciate you taking the time to search and find this page.
‘The past few days have been a whirlwind, and we three (Ayleen, Pernilla and Cecilie) have been completely shocked and floored by the flood of compassion and support from everyone. The sheer love is more than we ever expected, and we appreciate you all so much.
‘After careful consideration, and many chats, we have decided to start this GoFundMe fundraiser. So many people reached out to us asking if we had one, and it hadn’t occurred to us to make one prior to this.
‘However, we’ve spotted plenty of fakes, which makes us uneasy. We don’t want more people getting defrauded.
‘We realise there are a thousand other worthy causes to donate to, and remain forever grateful if you choose to donate to this one. All we want are our lives back.’
Hayut has never been charged for scamming Cecilie, Ayleen or Pernilla, who are hoping to raise £600,000 using GoFundMe (pictured)
Meanwhile, Leviev is continuing to make headlines, with the recent news that he is planning to use his newfound fame to crack Hollywood.
Celebrity site TMZ reported that sources close to the conman say he wants to write a book, host a dating podcast and has even pitched a controversial new TV show, which would see women competing for his love.
Helping him with his entertainment career will apparently be former pornographic-film actress Gina Rodriquez, the CEO of talent management company Gitoni.
With the help of his new manager, TMZ reports Hayut has pitched an idea for a dating show where women compete for his love, along with a podcast where he shares the dos and don’ts of dating.
Source & Credit: wseetonline.com