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‘Tinder Swindler’ sued by Leviev family for appropriating their name

Shimon Hayut, the conman who presented himself as Simon Leviev and was the subject of a wildly popular Netflix documentary, is accused of damaging businessman’s family’s reputation

'Tinder Swindler,' a true-crime documentary about Israeli con man Shimon Hayut, was released on Netflix, on February 2, 2022. (Courtesy: Netflix)
'Tinder Swindler,' a true-crime documentary about Israeli con man Shimon Hayut, was released on Netflix, on February 2, 2022. (Courtesy: Netflix)

The family of Israeli Russian diamond tycoon Lev Leviev is suing the Israeli fraudster known as the “Tinder Swindler,” made infamous recently by a wildly popular Netflix documentary, for posing as Leviev’s son and appropriating the family name, according to reports in Hebrew language media.

The suit was filed in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, naming four of Leviev’s children  — Zevulun Leviev, Ayelet Leviev Jacobson, Ruthy Leviev Yelizarov, and Chagit Leviev Sofiev — as well as the family company LLD Diamonds USA LTD, as the plaintiffs.

“For a long time he presented a false impression that he is the son of Lev Leviev, receiving multiple benefits (including material), all of it through deceit and falsehoods, because he is a member of the Leviev family, and because his family (Leviev) will pay and bear the costs of these benefits,” the criminal complaint said.

Lawyer Guy Ophir told Channel 12 Monday that Shimon Hayut, the conman who presented himself as Simon Leviev, had damaged the family name. Ophir said any money recovered from Hayut will be donated to his victims.

Hayut is the subject of the popular Netflix true crime documentary “The Tinder Swindler.” The original documentary, released on February 2, had landed on top of the streaming giant’s global weekly viewing chart, becoming the first documentary released by Netflix to lead the prestigious ranking.

The nearly two-hour documentary directed by Felicity Morris tells the story of several women whose hearts and wallets were captured by Hayut.

Hayut served two and a half years in a Finnish prison after being found guilty of defrauding three women. He also served 15 months in an Israeli prison after being convicted of four fraud charges, but was released after five months.

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