Israeli Russian diamond tycoon Lev Leviev and his family – including daughter Chagit Leviev, the CEO of Leviev Group USA – have launched legal action against the notorious fraudster at the centre of the hit Netflix documentary for allegedly impersonating them and enriching himself in their name.
“For a long time, he [Simon] has been 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 will pay and bear the costs of his benefits,” the lawsuit alleges, according to court docs obtained by Page Six.
“He even used the LLD Diamonds trademark to make his victims believe that he was indeed part of the diamond company (it’s CEO no less, per his signature) and was a member of the Leviev Family.”
Per court docs, the family also alleges that Simon (born: Shimon Hayut) “defrauded, cheated, conned, falsified, and hurt women, men and businesses” both in Israel and worldwide.
“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.
Simon served two and a half years in a Finnish prison after he was found guilty of defrauding three women. He also served 15 months in an Israeli prison after being convicted of four fraud charges, but was released after five months.
Now a free man, the “Tinder Swindler” is living in a high-end apartment in Israel with a model girlfriend. He is still attempting to live off his notoriety by selling tasteless T-shirts with the logo, “If she really loves you she’ll take out a loan for you.”
Leviev Group USA CEO Chagit told Page Six that their family firm has been operational for 40 years, supplying unique and rare diamonds to the premier jewellers in the world, as well as dressing stars like Salma Hayek, Charlize Theron and international royalty.
“We started hearing word about Simon Leviev in 2017. There are nine siblings in my family, five brothers – and none of them are called Simon – and four girls,” she exclusively told us.
“Soon I started hearing from diamond dealers that he’d made out checks of $350,000 in our name, but they were not our checks. Then another company called us and said we owed them $600,000 for private jets. They sent me a picture of his passport; it was Shimon Hayut.”
Chagit said they then went to the police in Israel, but Simon “was moving through so many different countries it was hard to keep track of him.”
“The biggest shock is when we saw the Netflix show and we saw the extent of his damage and his manipulation,” she said. “The truth is, that show is just the tip of the iceberg. For him to live that life, he has to be conducting an international fraud of enormous proportions. There must be so many other victims.”
She added, “And we have evidence of him using charter companies, yachts, high-end apartment rentals, it goes on and on.”
Chagit told us that any proceeds from the lawsuit would be given back to Simon’s victims, explaining, “We feel truly sorry for them, this guy is a fake and a fraud.”
“Even though we are a diamond company, we are victims too. We are getting threats because of this, endless prank calls saying, ‘My enemies are coming for me,’” she alleged. “I believe the show didn’t do a good enough job of explaining that we have nothing to do with him.”
Adding she was shocked to see Simon recently signed with a Hollywood agent, Chagit concluded, “In the end, to see the damage he has done, he did all of this this in our name.
“And now he has a Hollywood agent? He doesn’t belong in Hollywood. He is a criminal.”
A rep for Simon did not immediately respond to Page Six’s request for comment.