'Tinder Swindler' Simon Leviev Is Sued by Real Diamond Family Whose Last Name He Used
By Miguel A. Melendez
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The so-called "Tinder Swindler" is being sued by the real family behind the diamond empire who claims Simon Leviev pretended he belonged to in an effort to profit off their name.
According to legal documents filed in Tel Aviv's Magistrate Court, and obtained by ET, the Leviev family -- headed by the patriarch, Lev Leviev -- is suing Simon, born Shimon Hayut, claiming they brought forward the suit due to the "severity" and "maliciousness" of Simon's alleged actions, "who still presents himself as Simon Leviev and as a multimillionaire with ties to the Leviev Family, and still 'profits' off of his shameful actions."
In a statement to ET, Chagit Leviev says she hopes the lawsuit "brings an end to his unscrupulous actions."
"Shimon Hayut is a fraud who stole our family’s identity and has tried to exploit our good name to con victims out of millions of dollars," Chagit Leviev, CEO of Leviev Group and LLD Diamonds, claims. "He has no relation to the Leviev family and has no affiliation with our company LLD Diamonds. I am relieved that his real identity and actions have been globally exposed, and hopefully this will bring an end to his unscrupulous actions. The lawsuit we filed today (02/28) is just the first step out of many we will be taking to have him face justice and get the sentence he deserves."
In the documents, the family alleges Simon made false representations as being the son of Lev Leviev and receiving numerous benefits. The family claims Simon used the family's diamond empire's name -- LLD Diamonds -- to lure his victims and make them believe he was part of the diamond empire, like when Simon alleged being the company's CEO, per his signatures.
The family also alleges Simon "defrauded, cheated, conned, falsified, and hurt women, men, and businesses, both in Israel and worldwide." More specifically, they claim he used Tinder "to locate women who he then emotionally manipulated, cunningly bamboozled of funds, and eventually convinced to transfer large sums of money to him under the guise of being on the run from individuals intending on hurting him."
There were also times when, the family alleges, Simon presented himself not only as a member of the Leviev family but occasionally as the patriarch himself. They claim he contacted businesses, hotels, private flight rental companies, yacht companies and "received numerous benefits as a result while guaranteeing that 'his father'" would guarantee payment.
The family also claims Simon "presented falsified references for payments made by companies controlled by the Levievs to repay his debts."
Simon is accused of going to incredible lengths to pull off the scheme, the family alleges. They say that Simon, "in order to 'prove' to anyone and everyone that he belongs to the Leviev family, [Simon] took, without permission, a shared photo of Lev Leviev and his daughter, Ayelet Leviev ... and edited himself into the photo, alongside them, using the Photoshop software."
Then, the family alleges Simon "presented the 'fixed' photo to women and men as proof of being a Leviev family member, thereby making a misrepresentation that he is a part of the family, and did so to generate personal profit and mislead the public." These actions, the family claims, "invaded the privacy of the Leviev Family by publishing their photo in public, under circumstances in which such publication might humiliate or defame them; and also used the Leviev Family’s name and photo to generate profit."
According to the documents, Simon is accused of pretending to be Lev Leviev's son and taking 20 private flights from December 2017 to January 2018, totaling nearly $653,000, without paying for them. The family accuses Simon of falsifying documents to make it appear as though the LLD Diamonds had wired the money to pay the debts.
As the funds that were allegedly transferred by Simon to the airliner's account did not arrive, the family alleges Simon would make up excuses like saying "the banks aren't open on Christmas" while continuing "with his fraudulent presentations" and "ordering additional flights throughout Europe." Simon is also accused of forging checks that amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As Simon's conduct became more widespread -- coupled with the family name under the spotlight following Netflix's release of The Tinder Swindler -- the family alleges they were forcibly "tied to such despicable actions" and that their "reputation suffered a blow, as many still connect Simon to the Family."
Furthermore, the family says it was "forced to justify and defend themselves when they were contacted by people who were victimized by Simon, and believed that he indeed belongs to the Leviev Family, directly or indirectly."
Simon had previously been arrested in 2015 and served two and a half years behind bars in Finland after he was found guilty of defrauding three women. He currently resides in Israel and recently told Inside Edition he is not the so-called Tinder Swindler. He also claimed the hit Netflix documentary is "a complete[ly] made-up movie."