‘Not This Monster’: ‘Tinder Swindler’ Claims He Was ‘Just a Single Guy That Wanted to Meet Girls'
Shimon Heyada Hayut, from Israel, who operated under several aliases, posing as a billionaire’s son to allegedly swindle dozens of women out of their money, has given his first interview since becoming the subject of a bombshell Netflix documentary, entitled 'Tinder Swindler.'
Israeli national Shimon Heyada Hayut, the man known as the 'Tinder Swindler' after he became the subject of a recent Netflix documentary
with the same name earlier this month, has dismissed the streamer's portrayal of him as a made up story.
“I'm not a 'Tinder Swindler… I'm not a fraud and I'm not a fake. People don't know me - so they cannot judge me,” Hayut told Inside Edition in a preview clip of an exclusive two-part interview that airs 21 and 22 February.
Netflix's documentary tells the true crime story of a man who went by the name Simon Leviev, estimated to have conned
unsuspecting women out of around $10 million. Posing as the son of a Russian-Israeli billionaire and diamond mogul, Lev Leviev, on the Tinder dating app, he purportedly convinced countless female victims around the world to loan him money.
However, the alleged fraudster, who resorted to private jets, yachts, fancy cars and five-star hotels to entice his victims, insisted in the interview that he was “just a single guy that wanted to meet some girls on Tinder.”
"I'm not this monster," insisted the man, adding he was the “biggest gentleman.”
The outlet also offered a glimpse of Simon's "new model girlfriend," Kat Konlin, promising the full interview would reveal "why she is sticking with him."
Shimon Hayut’s father, according to The Times of Israel, is Yohanan Hayut, the chief rabbi of El Al Airlines.
In 2011, Hayut was charged for an array of crimes that included theft, forgery, fraud and cashing stolen checks. After being released on bail, Hayut fled Israel under a fake identity.
Between 2017 and 2019, Hayut would use a Ponzi scheme
, ostensibly enticing women he met on Tinder with extravagant trips and gifts, using money taken from other victims. He would then convince them to open credit cards for him, faking danger from “enemies” who sought to hurt him.
Hayut was finally arrested in 2017 by Interpol and the Israel Police in Greece, reported The Times of Israel, for using a fake passport. After being extradited to Israel, he was sentenced by the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court to 15 months in prison. However, in May 2020, Hayut was released just five months into his sentence for good behaviour.
Once he was released, the 31-year-old began posting photos on Instagram of himself enjoying a life of luxury right up until the documentary came out on 2 February 2022.
Amid backlash over the Netflix docu, where three of his alleged victims - Cecilie Fjellhoy, Pernilla Sjöholm and Ayleen Charlotte – shared how Hayut got them to hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars, Shimon posted a message that read:
“I will share my side of the story in the next few days when I have sorted out the best and most respectful way to tell it, both to the involved parties and myself. Until then, please keep an open mind and heart.”
Meanwhile, according to a Tinder spokesperson cited by E! News on 5 February, Simon and "any of his known aliases" were banned from using their services in 2019.
"He is permanently banned from Tinder. 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."
Shimon Hayut denied any wrongdoing in a voice memo aired in the Netflix special, saying:
"I will proceed with the lawsuit against you for discrimination and lies and, you know, everything is based basically on a lie… And that's it, this is how it's gonna be."