By now we all know some or other thing about the famous Tinder Swindler. Yes, the con artist who romanticized his scams. He robed thick money after diddling women who swiped him right. The Netflix Original documentary introduces us to Simon Leviev as the son of Lev Leviev, the diamond king of Isreal. Evidently, expensive branded clothes, 5-star hotel, private jets is just another day in Leviev’s life.
However, knowing his born name is Shimon Hayut, many may wonder what are his true origins. Is Lev Leviev his true father? And did his parents support him in this scandal? If you want to know everything about the Tinder Swindler’s real background, all you have to do is keep reading. Mind you though, it’s a bit complicated.
The Tinder Swindler grew up in the poor neighborhoods of Israel
Yes, it is true! Simon Leviev, or rather Shimon Hayut, grew up on the outskirts of Tel Aviv; in the Ramat Elchanan neighborhood of Bnei Brak. The area is described as one of the poorest neighborhoods in Israel, by an Israelian journalist. Towards the end of Netflix’s documentary, we meet a woman who appears to be his mother, in his last known address. We hear her stating ‘he is not Hayut anymore,’ suggesting that the family had no connection with Simon Leviev ever since he grew up. Further, we also know that the diamond king is not his father. So who is it?
Recently, the streaming service aired a podcast, The Making of Swindler, hosted by the director of the documentary, Felicity Morris, and producer Bernadette Higgins. And it has uncovered many more convoluted secrets of the Tinder Swindler. And this week’s episode, The Rabbi’s Son, caught our special attention. It proves Leviev was connected with his biological father, Rabbi Yohanan Hayut, as recently as 2017.
So who is Leviev’s dad? And was he involved in his scams?
As told in the podcast, Simon’s father, Yohanan Hayut, was Rabbi or Jewish lawyer for Israel’s national airline, El Al, for 15 years. And well, there’s a lot more drama in his story too. Here’s a gist of his part of the story:
The podcast also introduces us to Rabbi Raymond Badush, an Israel born now living in Brooklyn. He handles the portfolio of a huge charity in New York named Congregation Ahavat Shalom. Fascinatingly, he met Hayut in early 2012. Hayut asked him to donate money for his ailing mother and his brother’s large family. It was an easy task for Hayut because of his ‘good’ reputation. Just like the son, Hayut gave beyond the world treatments to Badush whenever he visited Israel. And as the friendship strengthened, he proposes a money-making scheme to his newfound money man.
According to the scheme, a wealthy family of Europe, the real Leviev family, would channel thick money through Badush’s charity. The charity was to receive the money through checks issued by a Polish Bank from the family. The organization would then write a check to Hayut of the same amount, and he will, in turn, hand the cashback to the charity. A complicated money laundering scheme indeed.
The deal here was, Hayut won’t cash the money until the Tapiro Group (Tinder Swindler’s previous alias) checks were not cashed in Ahavat Sholam’s bank account. However, he still did! In the podcast, Badush recalls how Hayut made fake promises and claimed that he already wired the cash transfer. But it didn’t reflect in his account. Hence enter, Simon Leviev.
Is Hayut responsible for the scams of the Tinder Swindler?
In a lengthy conversation with the hosts, which you can listen to here; Badush recorded how Leviev convinced him that the $10 million checks were absolutely fine and must soon reflect in his account. Hayut also promised him that he himself made sure checks were fine. Later, an actual Leviev educates Badush of Simon’s real identity. Knowing that the Tinder Swindler is not a Leviev, he also confronts the Rabbi. But he countered him saying he was a ‘trustworthy man’ from a ‘well-respected family.’ (The Leviev family and not the Hayut family)
Finally, Badush learned of their true connection when the owner of the cash exchange business called him and told him Leviev and Hayut are the actual father-son. “Betrayal, betrayal. That’s the word I would use. Defiled. Used,” Badush said about his situation in the podcast. He later went to the police station to give a statement.
As this fiasco went viral, Hayut’s lawyer made it crystal clear that his client denies all the allegations about this money laundering fraud. He said, “My client never cooperated with the son’s false representations because he did not know about them at all. And in retrospect, after knowing about them, there was nothing he could do as this concerns an adult son who is responsible for his own actions.” Hayut also claimed that he “went to some effort” to confirm the Polish bank was legitimate and “only later discovered the Polish checks were not usable.” Well, it is entirely possible Hayut is one of the many victims of the Tinder Swindler’s scam.
ALSO READ- The Very Real And Rich Lev Leviev Is Not So Different From The Tinder Swindler
Although no allegations are made against Simon Leviev’s real father, it’s just a matter of time till the podcast reveals deeper secrets about the two. Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?
The post The Tinder Swindler: Is Simon Leviev’s Dad Involved in His Cons? Here’s The Real And Strange Story of His Father appeared first on Netflix Junkie.