Shimon Hayut, an Israeli man extradited to Israel this week after allegedly using a dating app to defraud women in Scandinavia of hundreds of thousands of dollars, will remain under arrest until further notice, a court ruled Tuesday morning.
The next hearing in the case will be held in two weeks.
Shimon Hayut fled Israel in 2017 to avoid trial for various fraud-related offenses, and roamed around Europe for the next two years. There he presented himself as Simon Leviev, the son of Russian-Israeli diamond mogul Lev Leviev. He used the dating app Tinder to contact women as Leviev and tricked them into loaning him money that he never repaid.
In July, the 29-year-old Bnei Brak native was arrested in Greece for using a fake passport after a joint operation between Interpol and Israel Police.
A police spokesperson said Monday that the investigation into Hayut was “complex and ongoing” and that he was taken to Tel Aviv police’s anti-fraud unit for questioning immediately upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport.
According to an investigative report by Norway’s Verdens Gang newspaper, Hayut conned women in Norway, Finland and Sweden out of hundreds of thousands of dollars using a Ponzi scheme. He would charm women with lavish gifts and take them to dinners on private jets using money he had borrowed from other women he’d previously conned. Then, citing security concerns related to his business competition, he’d ask them for financial favors he promised to pay back.
Hayut also used other people to make his claims more believable, and surrounded himself with a fake bodyguard, business partners and more. He even officially changed his name to Leviev, so his driver’s license and passport would match his story.
Hayut has denied all of the allegations against him, telling Channel 12 in an interview that all the women that have accused him of fraud and theft did so for personal reasons.
Channel 12 reported that Hayut’s alleged fraud and theft over the last two years alone has amounted to some $10 million.