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‘Tinder Swindler’ Simon Leviev sued by diamond magnate's family over impersonation

Simon Leviev, whose real name is Shimon Hayut, was banned from dating apps like Tinder and Hinge after Netflix released “The Tinder Swindler" on Feb. 2.
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The family of an Israeli diamond magnate is suing Simon Leviev, the subject of Netflix’s documentary “The Tinder Swindler,” for claiming to be a member of the family as he allegedly scammed several women he met on the dating app out of several millions.

The real Leviev family accused Simon Leviev — whose real name is Shimon Hayut — of "making false representations as being the son of Lev Leviev and receiving numerous benefits (including material ones), cunningly and using false words, claiming to be a member of the Leviev Family, and that his family (Leviev) will pay and bear the costs of his benefits," according to a lawsuit filed in Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court in Israel.

Attempts to reach Hayut were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Guy Ophir, the Leviev family’s attorney, said in a statement Monday that the lawsuit was “only the beginning of a number of lawsuits.”

“In the next faze we will file a monetary suit against Simon and any other affiliate that will work with him, including some websites that have Joint ventures with Simon and/or have offered to buy cameos from him,” the attorney said in a statement. “Anyone that will try to capitalize from this scheme will be sued.”

In a statement to NBC News, Chagit Leviev, the daughter of Lev Leviev, said the lawsuit was the "first step" to ensure that Hayut "face[s] justice and get[s] the sentence he deserves."

She continued: "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. 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," Chagit added.

Last month, Hayut was banned from dating apps like Tinder and Hinge after the Feb. 2 release of "The Tinder Swindler," which follows three women who said they were conned by Leviev, an Israeli man they all met separately on Tinder sometime between 2018 and 2019.

In the documentary, the women alleged that Leviev claimed he was the son of a wealthy tycoon, took them out on extravagant dates and started relationships with them before he eventually scammed them out of large sums of money.

“We banned Simon Leviev and any of his known aliases as soon as the story of his actions became public in 2019,” a Tinder spokeswoman said last month. “In the lead up to the release of the documentary, we conducted additional internal investigations and can confirm Simon Leviev is not active on Tinder under any of his known aliases.”

Hayut was also banned from using dating sites and apps under Match Group Inc., which owns Tinder, including, Plenty of Fish and OkCupid, she said.

Hayut did not appear in the documentary, but a voice message the filmmakers said he sent them was included in the film.

“I will proceed with the lawsuit against you for defamation and lies and, you know, that everything is based, basically, on a lie. And that’s it, this is how it’s gonna be,” Hayut said in the voice message.

In July 2019, Hayut was arrested in Greece and extradited back to Israel, where he was convicted of four fraud charges and ordered to compensate his victims a total of more than $43,000, The Times of Israel reported. He was released after having served only five months of his 15-month sentence.

Since his release in May 2020, Hayut has lived as a free man and regularly posted on his Instagram account, which amassed more than 100,000 followers, the newspaper reported. His Instagram account has been deleted, as of early February.