'The Tinder Swindler': Who is Pernilla Sjoholm? Second victim came out against conman Shimon Hayut
The Swedish woman considered Hayut a close friend for months only to be robbed by him of thousands of dollars
Shimon Hayut or Simon Leviev, the latter being the identity under which he conned multiple women, had a very clear modus operandi. He'd pose as a billionaire playboy on Tinder, connect with his matches, scope out his prey and meet them on short notice citing business plans as a reason. Hayut would take them out on luxurious dates, shower them with lavish gifts, express his love and ensure that the women he was with bought his stories. Right from the get-go, he would also tell the women about the alleged dangers of being a part of the trade that he was in.
Hayut would let the above-mentioned concoction soak for a while and ask the women for large amounts of money in the days that followed. He'd ask the women to fund his business activities temporarily, making all the transactions in their name and on their credit cards, claiming that his movements were tailed by those who wanted to take him out. The "business activities" that Hayut mentioned, however, were just him enticing his next victim. He'd never repay the women, leaving them in serious debt. 'The Tinder Swindler,' Netflix's upcoming true-crime documentary, is about the conman's victims and their attempts to bring him down. For those new to true-crime documentaries, you could take a look at 'Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer,' 'Tiger King,' 'Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist,' and 'Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.'
Pernilla Sjoholm met Hayut for the first time in March 2018 after matching on Tinder. Hayut took the Swedish woman to the opera in a limousine, splurging over $10,000 on their first date. They remained in touch for months after the date but it never blossomed into a romantic relationship. Sjoholm considered Hayut a close friend and even loaned him (8 months into the friendship he used his M.O. on her) $45,000 dollars and booked plane tickets for him. Hayut repaid her with a luxury watch that later turned out to be a fake. It was during this time period that a reporter from a Norwegian publication reached out to Sjoholm and broke the news to her that she had been swindled.
Sjoholm set up a sting operation along with the publication, helping them collect footage of him. She received threatening messages from Hayut during the exposé but came forward with her story, joining Cecilie Fjellhoy, the first victim to come out against the conman. Together, Fjellhoy and Sjoholm brought Hayut's nefarious activities to light, eventually resulting in him landing in prison. Their joys, however, were short-lived as Hayut's sentence was shortened, from 15 months to 5, owing to the coronavirus outbreak. Hayut made a public appearance once after his release and has been at large since.
'The Tinder Swindler' will see Cecilie Fjellhoy and Pernilla Sjoholm team up with Ayleen Charlotte, another victim of Hayut's, and follow their attempts to take him down and settle scores with him.
'The Tinder Swindler' is slated to release on Netflix on February 2, 2022.