Netflix’s The Tinder Swindler has captured the attention of viewers, and many are wondering why Shimon Hayut, the Israeli con man at the center of the true crime documentary, isn’t in jail for his crimes. Others are wondering where he is now, and whether they should be worried about the men they meet online. Here’s what we know about Hayut.

After his arrest in 2019, Shimon Hayut (aka Simon Leviev) only spent five months in jail before he was released because of Covid-19 concerns. The con man was supposed to spend 15 months in prison for using a fake passport in Greece and outstanding fraud charges that he had in Israel. He was also required to give over $43,000 to the victims that he defrauded.

Police reports say that the United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway are still looking to charge Hayut with fraud charges.

Some reports allege that before he was released, Hayut lied to prison officials and told them that he was a healthcare worker so he could get an early dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. This claim has not been confirmed.

According to a report by The Times of Israel, Simon Leviev spoke about waiting for the Covid-19 vaccine. He said, “I am not someone who waits in line or at places. With all due respect, I will not sit and wait three to four hours. I am not someone who waits, and no one can say a word about it.”

Shimon Hayut jail
Shimon Hayut, the con man featured on Netflix’s The Tinder Swindler, only spent five months in jail and is a free man. Many want to know why he hasn’t been brought to justice. (Credit: Instagram)

Since his release, Shimon Hayut is living as a free man in Tel Aviv, Israel. He is reportedly dating an Israeli model named Kate Konlin and has rebranded himself as a real estate and business expert. He offers advice for a fee. The website for his new business venture is currently down and the 33-year-old has deleted his Instagram account.

During filming for The Tinder Swindler, Hayut was asked by Netflix to appear in the documentary. He later told the streaming service that he was going to file a lawsuit against the company. Before he deleted his Instagram account this past week, the Israeli con man also told his followers that he was going to share his side of the story on Friday.

He claimed on his Instagram story that the three women featured in the documentary were lying about the fraud and wanted to “turn his world to hell.”

“If I was a fraud, why would I act on Netflix,” he said in his Instagram story. “I mean they should have arrested me when we were still shooting. It’s high time the ladies start saying the truth. If you can’t give them world, they want they’ll turn yours to hell. I will be addressing the whole world on Friday,” he continued. “Stay tuned and tag others. Say my name #simontruth.”

Shimon Hayut was also banned from Tinder. Following the success of the Netflix documentary, Tinder officials spoke to Variety and said that they conducted an investigation to make sure that their users were safe from fraud.

They said, “We have conducted internal investigations and can confirm Simon Leviev is no longer active on Tinder under any of his known aliases.”

Shimon Hayut jail
What happened to Shimon Hayut? Instagram pictures show he is still enjoying a lavish lifestyle despite being wanted for fraud. (Credit: Instagram)

Hayut’s three victims, Cecilie Fjellhøy, Pernilla Sjöholm and Ayleen Charlotte, were surprised that he was released from jail and are angry at the Israeli authorities for letting him get away with his crimes.

Pernilla Sjöholm was notified of his release and said, “I was in shock from the decision to release him. I’m really disappointed by [Israel’s] justice system which gives a man like that a reduced sentence. He deceived people and left prison after five months? Did you go crazy in Israel?”

The three women reportedly have become very close since their experiences with Shimon Hayut. They even started a GoFundMe page to help pay off their debts. It is estimated that Hayut stole over $800,000 from the three women combined. Hayut would match with these women on Tinder, start to date them and then convinced them that he had dangerous enemies and that they needed to send him money so he could be safe.

In reality, Shimon Hayut was using the money to date other women and support his lavish lifestyle. In essence, the scam was part of an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

According to the GoFundMe page, Fjellhøy, Sjöholm and Charlotte are just trying to get their lives back and move on from their terrible experiences with the Tinder Swindler.

They said, “After careful consideration, and many chats, we have decided to start this GoFundMe fundraiser. So many people reached out to us asking if we had one, and it hadn’t occurred to us to make one prior to this. However, we’ve spotted plenty of fakes, which makes us uneasy. We don’t want more people getting defrauded. We realize there are a thousand other worthy causes to donate to and remain forever grateful if you choose to donate to this one. All we want are our lives back.”

So far, the page has raised over £35,880 with an original goal of £600,000. All the money raised will help the three women pay off their debts.