Tinder King

Israel’s ‘Tinder swindler’ to feature in upcoming Netflix film

True crime program will follow exploits of Shimon Hayut, convicted of defrauding multiple women he met online out of hundreds of thousands of dollars

Israeli Shimon Hayut, wanted in several countries for fraud. (Screenshot)
Shimon Hayut (Screenshot)

Netflix has announced an upcoming true-crime documentary, “The Tinder Swindler,” set to be broadcast in early 2022, based on the story of Israeli fraudster Shimon Hayut.

“The Tinder Swindler tells the jaw-dropping story of a prolific conman who posed as a billionaire playboy on Tinder, and the women who set out to bring him down,” the streaming platform said, announcing the program as part of several others in the true crime genre.

The movie is directed by Felicity Morris, and is set to premier in February.

Hayut was imprisoned in Israel after pleading guilty to fraud charges in December 2019. He was released after serving five months of a 15-month sentence, reportedly as part of a program aimed at reducing the prison population amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak among inmates.

He was arrested in 2019 in Greece for using a fake passport after a joint operation between Interpol and Israel Police and was extradited to Israel, after fleeing the country in 2017 to avoid trial for various fraud-related offenses.

During that period, he roamed around Europe, presenting 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.

Hayut would charm women with lavish gifts and take them to dinners on private jets using money he borrowed from other women he previously conned. Then, citing security concerns related to his business, 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 had previously been charged in Israel with theft, forgery and fraud in 2011, for cashing stolen checks, but fled before sentencing. He was convicted in Finland for defrauding women and was returned to Israel in 2017, but fled the country again.

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