'The Tinder Swindler': Who is Cecilie Fjellhoy? Victim came out against conman Shimon Hayut
"Swipe, swipe, swipe, It's not easy to find love online, so when Cecilie matches with a handsome billionaire playboy, she can't quite believe it when he turns out to be the man of her dreams. But dreams aren't reality and by the time she discovers this international businessman isn't who he says he is, it's too late. He's taken her for everything. Where this fairytale ends, a revenge thriller begins," reads the synopsis for 'The Tinder Swindler'.
The upcoming Netflix true-crime documentary follows three women who are out to bring down Shimon Hayut, an Israeli conman who robbed them of their life savings while claiming to be a Prince of Diamonds. If you're 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.'
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Cecilie Fjellhoy met Hayut for the first time in January 2018 after matching on Tinder. She was 29 and was a graduate student living in London. Hayut posed as Simon Leviev and claimed to be the CEO for LDD Diamonds. He also claimed that Lev Leviev, an Israeli diamond mogul, was his father. He had a team of fake assistants, business partners, and a bodyguard with him which made Fjellhoy buy his story. They met for coffee at the London Four Seasons. Right after the date, he asked her if she wanted to join him on a business trip to Bulgaria on his private jet, leaving that afternoon. Fjellhoy, reassured by Hayut's "team" of employees, agreed to travel with him.
This led to a long-distance relationship that was packed with love notes, videos, and voice messages over WhatsApp. Hayut shared videos of himself on private jets, flexing luxury watches, and driving Ferraris. He would also call her his future wife. All this while he was also plotting to rob Fjellhoy. The conman had always hinted that his life was in danger due to him being a part of the diamond industry from the get-go, and cited that as a reason for him not being able to visit her in London. He even faked an attack, sending her bloody photos of himself and his bodyguard.
Four weeks into the relationship, Hayut asked her to take a huge line of credit for him. He told her that it was a safety measure to avoid leaving a paper trail in his name. Fjellhoy applied for an American Express Platinum Card, which Hayut used to pay for plane tickets, hotels, and dinners. All the bookings were made under her name to thwart the alleged attempts being made to tail him. He also made purchases in Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin and Amsterdam. Hayut maxed out Fjellhoy's Amex card (a jaw-dropping $224,220) in less than 2 months after which she opened ten more lines of credit.
Fjellhoy took a loan to pay off her credit cards and Hayut assured her that he would be paying her back. He even shared a forged document that said that Fjellhoy's account would be credited with $500,000. Fjellhoy realized that she had been conned by March 2018. However, Hayut had moved on to his next victim by then.
'The Tinder Swindler' is slated to release on Netflix on February 2, 2022.