Upcoming Netflix Documentary to Cover Israel’s ‘Tinder Swindler’ Convicted of Defrauding Women
A documentary about an Israeli con artist who posed as a billionaire on the dating app Tinder and defrauded multiple women out of hundreds of thousands of dollars will premiere on Netflix in February 2022, the streaming service announced last week.
The film is titled “The Tinder Swindler,” which was the nickname given to Bnai Brak native Shimon Hayut. According to an investigative report by Norway’s Verdens Gang newspaper, Hayut defrauded women in Norway, Finland and Sweden. The documentary will also tell the story of “the women who set out to bring him down,” Netflix teased.
The conman, then in his late 20s, created a profile for himself on Tinder as Simon Leviev, the son of a Russian-Israeli diamond mogul and billionaire. He contacted women through the dating app and swindled them into loaning him money that he never repaid. He also used the money to buy other women he met on Tinder expensive trips and gifts, to keep up his appearance as being wealthy. In some cases, he asked women to take out a line of credit for him in their names, saying he needed to protect his identity due to security concerns.
One victim told ABC News she had to be admitted to a psychiatric ward for having suicidal thoughts after he conned her out of $200,000, which left her in debt.
Hayut was arrested in Greece following a joint operation between Interpol and Israel Police, The Times of Israel reported.
The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court convicted him of four fraud charges and imprisoned him in Israel in December 2019. He was also ordered to pay his victims $43,289 and a fine of $5,771 as part of a plea agreement he reached with prosecutors. During his sentencing hearing, Hayut said he was “sorry about everything” and promised to “pay my debt to society.”
He was released from prison in May 2020, after serving only five months of his 15-month sentence, reportedly due to a program that focused on reducing the prison population in an effort to curb a coronavirus outbreak among inmates.