The man who is the real-life subject of the Netflix true-crime documentary ‘The Tinder Swindler’ is being sued for millions of dollars by the real Leviev diamond family to which he allegedly pretended to belong.
In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Israeli Russian diamond tycoon Lev Leviev and his family filed suit against Shimon Hayut, alias Simon Leviev, for allegedly impersonating them and unjustly enriching himself using their last name.
The lawsuit, filed in Tel Aviv, Israel, claims that “for a long time, he [Simon Leviev] has been making false representations as being the son of Lev Leviev and receiving numerous benefits (including material ones).”
The family alleges that Hayut has been ” cunningly using false words, claiming to be a member of the Leviev Family, and that his family will pay and bear the costs of his benefits.”
The Netflix film, which hit the streaming service Feb. 2, claims Hayut changed his name and claimed on the dating app Tinder to be the son of the diamond mogul.
Under his false identity, he would charm women and persuade them to loan him money, swindling an estimated $10 million from people across the globe.
Though he was convicted of fraud, theft, and forgery and sentenced to 15 months in prison in December 2019, he was released early only five months later.
The court documents claim that Hayut “defrauded, cheated, conned, falsified, and hurt women, men and businesses” around the world.
“The defendant used the dating application ‘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,” the lawsuit states.
Attorney Guy Ophir, who represents the Leviev family, told PEOPLE in a statement that more legal action may be forthcoming.
“This legal action is only the beginning of a number of lawsuits that my firm is currently working on,” he writes. “In the next faze we will file a monetary suit against Hayut and any other affiliate that will work with him, including some websites that have Joint ventures with Hayut and/or have offered to buy cameos from him. Anyone that will try to capitalize from this scheme will be sued.”
Hayut has not responded to the lawsuit, and it’s unclear whether he has retained attorney to defend him in this civil suit.
In a statement, Chagit Leviev, the daughter of Lev Leviev and an heiress to the family’s fortune, told PEOPLE that 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,” she said. “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 is just the first step out of many we will be taking to have him face justice and get the sentence he deserves.”
We don’t know what this family expects to get from him — do they think he has money?