‘Tinder swindler’ gets 15 months for scamming women on dating app

An Israeli man who defrauded women across Scandinavia out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by presenting himself on the dating app Tinder as the son of a wealthy oligarch is sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay his victims NIS 150,000 ($43,289) in compensation by the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.

Shimon Hayut, dubbed the “Tinder Swindler,” is also ordered to pay a fine of NIS 20,000 ($5,771) under the terms of a plea deal he reached with prosecutors after being convicted of four separate fraud charges. According to Hebrew media reports, after time served is deducted from his sentence and, assuming early release for good behavior, he could potentially be released in just two months.

During his sentencing hearing, Hayut tells the court that he is “sorry about everything” he had done and promises to “pay my debt to society,” the Ynet news site reports.

Shimon Hayut with one of his victims. (Screengrab)

Hayut was extradited back to Israel in October after fleeing the country in 2017 to avoid trial for various other fraud-related offenses. In the intervening two years, he roamed around Europe, presenting himself as Simon Leviev, the purported 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.

The 29-year-old Bnei Brak native was arrested over the summer in Greece in a joint operation of Interpol and the Israel Police.

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