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Several victims of the alleged “Tinder scammer” have banded together in hopes of finally moving on.
Cecilie Fjellhøy from Norway, Pernilla Sjöholm from Sweden and Ayleen Charlotte from Amsterdam have teamed up with Chagit Leviev, CEO of Leviev Diamonds, to launch a bracelet called Stronger Together.
The piece designed by the women features two gold rings and two interlocking diamonds. It retails for $169, and all profits go to the women to help offset their financial losses. You will donate 10% of the profits to charity.
“I saw them [Netflix] Documentary like any other,” Leviev told Fox News Digital. Leviev noted that it was she who approached the women to collaborate after watching the film.
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“One day I woke up and suddenly found that our family, our company, even our family photos were featured in this documentary without us being prepared for it,” Leviev said. “It was a real shock, but it was also very sad to see what these women went through and how this guy managed to manipulate them. He posed as the CEO of that company. It was just so unfortunate and we really felt sorry for them. But I was also proud that they all came forward to talk about it in front of the whole world and try to fight this guy.
“We tried to fight him for years and we couldn’t stop him,” she added. “We just didn’t know how to get him to stop doing it. The fact that his story finally came to light in this Netflix documentary only proved that he couldn’t get away with his lies. I felt like these women were doing something so brave by sharing their lying story, this humiliating experience. I wanted to support her. I thought we could create something together where they could take advantage of the profits.”
Shimon Hayut has been accused of disguising himself as Simon Leviev, the world-spanning son of Leviev’s father, Israel’s “King of Diamonds” Lev Leviev. Supposedly, using this identity, he would charm women he found on the popular dating app with his affluent lifestyle.
Once a long-distance relationship was established, the 31-year-old would allegedly get women to give him thousands of dollars, insisting he was working in a dangerous business. But when he reportedly traveled to work, Hayut reportedly continued to live lavishly on his victims’ pennies.
Fjellhøy, Sjöholm and Charlotte were just three of many women who claimed to have been cheated on by Hayut. Hayut reportedly scammed people around the world out of an estimated $10 million from 2017-2019.
A spokesperson for Hayut did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
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“I think it’s important to point out that he wasn’t just cheating on women,” Sjöholm explained. “A scammer will jump at any opportunity out there, and it’s not just women. And people were ashamed to talk about it, so they get away with it. When it comes to fraud, the victims are usually blamed. How could they do that? to you?
“The misconception that a lot of people still have is that we fell for his money,” Charlotte said. “The truth is, I thought I really connected to him. But a cheater is like a chameleon. They change color. They change personality with everyone they meet in few days, we sent him money. But it’s not true. In my case, for example, I had been with him for seven months before he started asking for money. People call us gold diggers, but I think I’d be the worst gold digger in the world if I gave all my money!”
Hayut fled his home country in 2011 to avoid fraud he committed in his early 20s, The Times of Israel reported. He fled to Finland, where he was sentenced to two years in a Finnish prison in 2015 after being accused of cheating on three women. He returned to Israel in 2017 but then traveled to Europe a second time when he changed his name. According to the outlet, Leviev’s father filed a complaint against Hayut for “falsely impersonating his son.”
Hayut was a wanted man in several countries including Israel, Sweden, England, Germany, Denmark and Norway, People Magazine reported. Hayut was caught by police in Greece in 2019 after using a fake passport. He was deported to Israel. Later that year he was convicted of fraud, theft and forgery. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison but was released after five months for “good behavior”.
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After his release, Hayut was active on social media where he had over 200,000 followers on Instagram. At one point, he even had a website where he billed clients over $300 for business consulting. Both sides have since been removed. His cameo page, where he charges $99 for personalized videos, is still active. People magazine noted that he was back on Tinder after his release.
He refused to be in the film before it came out in February this year. Over 50 million people streamed the documentary within weeks of its premiere. In the same month he was banned from the platform. Tinder also added new guidelines, “Romance Scams: How to Protect Yourself Online,” and stressed to be on the lookout for scammers using the platform to prey on “vulnerable” people “looking for love.”
The documentary noted that Leviev “was never charged with fraud” and the women were still paying off their debts. Fjellhøy, Sjöholm and Charlotte started a GoFundMe fundraiser and declared on their page: “All we want is our lives back.”
Chagit previously told Forbes that since 2017 she and her family have received numerous calls and emails from European suppliers regarding unpaid charters for private planes, yachts and high-end car services. Hayut was scheduled to face a criminal complaint brought against him by the Leviev family in an Israeli court on June 28.
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“So many people kept calling us and saying, ‘Is that your brother?'” Chagit said. “Most people couldn’t understand that he was pretending to be a brother. They thought he was a real family member. Our company has been bombarded with attacks and bad reviews.
“People swore we hired Simon to write those fake checks and pay slips. They felt like we were somehow involved. But we were betrayed ourselves. … He did all this without our knowledge. And it was just frustrating that people didn’t understand. Even now people are asking, ‘How is your brother?’
“I hope this collaboration will clear up a lot of that confusion,” she said. “He’s not a family member. He has nothing to do with us.”
The women said they are still determined to rebuild their lives. They hope to regain the courage to trust.
“We’re still fighting,” said Fjellhøy. “We will not give up. But it was so difficult to get justice. … I felt alone with that. But after hearing these stories from other women, we rely on each other for inspiration. We met and we supported each other. There is sadness in this situation, but it was nice to see something positive, this friendship blossom.
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Hayut has vehemently denied all allegations against him.
After the documentary was released, he told Inside Edition he was “just a single guy who wanted to meet some girls on Tinder,” insisting “I’m not a Tinder scammer.” He also told EW that the Netflix movie is “a completely made-up movie.”
Most recently, Hayut confirmed to Forbes that he legally changed his name to Simon Leviev in 2017. He also denied the allegations made by the Leviev family.
“First, let me start by saying that this is not a court proceeding. It’s a show that’s going to happen in court,” his statement said, in part. “The Leviev family has filed this private complaint against me. Technically, any person can do this with no evidence or solid evidence. That’s why they chose to do it this way and not the formal way it should be, and it’s just to show they’re doing something.
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“I am innocent and will soon be filing lawsuits against the Leviev family, just as I filed lawsuits against the ladies in 2019… It’s a show, a publicity stunt. The Leviev family is not the law, they are lawbreakers.”
But for Charlotte, she said the message her bracelet represents is clear.
“It’s like a big F—you to him,” she said. “It’s the perfect payback.”