Simon Leviev, AKA the “Tinder Swindler,” is being sued by his own family. Well, not exactly his own family and that is the point here. The Leviev Family is saying that the Tinder Swindler is not really named Leviev and has besmirched their good name.
So, let’s get some background here. Believe it or not, Simon Leviev has become somewhat of a celebrity in Israel You see, Israelis are provincial about these things and go nuts over any one of their own who gets to be famous in America, even if they become infamous. Simon is a 31 year old Israeli who was charged several times in the country for check fraud and forgery. He was also once arrested in Finland. And Leviev used false identifications over the years as well as forged passports
Simon Leviev is actually Shimon Yehuda Hayut. But Leviev was an alias that he adopted and he even went so far as to claim that he was the son of renowned Russian-Israeli diamond mogul Lev Leviev. Lev Leviev is known for his philanthropic activities, including support for the Chabad Hasidic organization and serves as president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS (FJC), an umbrella body representing Jewish communities across the former Soviet Union.
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It, therefore, comes as little surprise that Lev Leviev would be angry at Simon Hayut for calling himself Simon Leviev and for claiming to be Lev’s son. And this is why The Leviev family, headed by businessman Lev Leviev, filed suit against Hayut in a Tel Aviv court on Monday. Zevulun Leviev, Ayelet Leviev Jacobson, Ruthi Leviev Yelizarov, Hagit Sofiev Leviev and the family diamond company LLD Diamonds USA, LLC are listed as the plaintiffs in the suit.
The suit states that Simon Leviev used their family name to ingratiate himself with people as part of his career as a con artist. But even if this is true, then how did it harm them? Aren’t the victims only the people who Leviev/Hayut defrauded? Well, the family says that it has had its name tarnished by his activities and that he also claimed at one point to be affiliated with their diamond company. And the plaintiffs claim that they were forced to prove that they were not really connected to Simon since his victims had been told that his family would back him up and make good on his debts.
There is no word yet as to what the Leviev Family is seeking in damages. But the question is what, if anything, could they hope to get from Simon Leviev. Surely his victims will get first priority in any civil suits. And it’s not like Leviev has any money. While he hopes to cash in on the fame brought by “The Tinder Swindler,” Leviev is still wanted in a number of countries that will prevent him from traveling anywhere and is looking at a great deal in legal fees in the near future.