Fashion

The Tinder Swindler just got an arrest warrant after he’s accused of using yet another fake identity

The Tinder Swindler‘s Shimon Heyada Hayut – more widely known by his scammer alias, Simon Leviev – may face fresh jail time after being arrested in Spain after being accused of using a false driver’s license. 

Hayut, 31, was probed by police after he was found using the bogus ID under the name of Michael Bilton. He was, true to usual form, driving in an £80,000 Maserati with a mystery woman in tow. According to the Mail Online, police recognised him from the Netflix documentary film that made him (in)famous earlier this year, which topped the streaming service’s “Most Watched” charts.

While Hayut was allowed to go free after his arrest, he was asked to provide an address of his base in Malaga to local police, while police have requested a criminal investigation to be taken out by a court in the Spanish port city of Algeciras. 

Frankly, nothing would surprise us about his behaviour at this point – lest we forget this is the Israeli-born conman who used Tinder in order to lure his victims and cheat them out of huge sums of money (amounting to a total of $10 million (£7.4 million) in the years of 2017 alone, according to The Times of Israel.

Simon Leviev, the alias he went under, was the fictional son of real-life diamond empire billionaire Lev Leviev. Lev Leviev’s family announced in March this year that they were suing Hayut for defamation and violation of privacy. The lawsuit is being filed in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

Hayut’s Netflix notoriety has not appeared to dissuade him from other deceitful stunts. Following the dating app scams chronicled in The Tinder Swindler, he was then arrested in 2019 after being accused of using a fake passport in Greece. He was extradited to Israel, where he was born. 

Upon his arrest, he told Israel’s Channel 12: “I have the right to choose whatever name I want, I never presented myself as the son of anyone, but people use their imaginations. Maybe their hearts were broken during the process…I never took a dime from them; these women enjoyed themselves in my company, they travelled and got to see the world on my dime.”

He was later tried in front of the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court and prosecuted in the same year, and sentenced to a total prison sentence of 15 months – but released after just five in May 2020. 

He was also jailed back in 2015, when he served two years after conning three women in 2015. 

Meanwhile, his infamy has continued to grow all over the world. Global audiences have tuned in to watch the tale of a large-scale dating app fraud which saw dozens of women cheated out of large sums of money by Hayut. Generally these women were believed they were in a long-distance relationship with “Simon Leviev”, the persona created by Hayut, who pretended he travelled extensively for work. 

They were manipulated by Hayut into taking out loans and credit funds then transferring him the money, or sending him suitcases cash – usually to help him with so-called trouble that he had got into, and with the impression he’d pay them back.