Crime

The Con Artist Who Claimed Ties to the ‘King of Diamonds’

CrimeMar 21, 2019

The Con Artist Who Claimed Ties to the ‘King of Diamonds’

A young man stands accused of seducing women by posing as the son of billionaire diamantaire Lev Leviev.

New York—Simon Leviev, the son of billionaire Lev Leviev, known as the “King of Diamonds,” appeared to the women he met through dating app Tinder as the ultimate catch.

Wealthy, attractive and attentive, he seduced women upon meeting them with impromptu trips on private jets, his status as the son of an oligarch cemented by the constant presence of an entourage that included a bodyguard.

The only problem, his paramours would come to learn, was that Simon Leviev doesn’t exist.

An exhaustive investigation by Norwegian news outlet VG exposed the real man behind the made-up moniker: Shimon Yehuda Hayut, the Israeli son of a rabbi who is wanted by Israeli police and has been reported for fraud in several European countries.

VG’s investigation into Hayut’s relationship with a Norwegian woman, Cecilie Schroder Fjellhoy, who was living in London when she met the con artist through Tinder, exposed how he perpetrates his fraud.

According to VG, Hayut posed as the CEO of LLD Diamonds on Tinder and told women that Lev Leviev is his father.

After connecting through the dating app and an initial first date in London, Hayut and Fjellhoy began a romantic relationship that mainly consisted of WhatsApp messages, only meeting sporadically due to Hayut’s seemingly busy schedule that took him from one city to the next.

Hayut made gestures that seemed in line with that of a major global business player who was constantly on the go, popping into Norway for just a few hours in between supposed business meetings so he could see Fjellhoy when she was on a visit home or taking her for weekend jaunts to Amsterdam via private jet.

What Fjellhoy didn’t know when the romance was occurring was that Hayut was financing his lifestyle by defrauding other women.

According to VG, he went on to do the same to Fjellhoy, claiming he was in danger from business associates who sought to harm him and asking to be linked to her credit cards so that financial transactions he made while traveling wouldn’t be under his own name, putting her in debt for roughly $500,000. 

The real Lev Leviev is indeed a billionaire, but his actual son might not be the ideal scion to currently impersonate.


Born in Uzbekistan when it was part of the USSR, the elder Leviev immigrated to Israel as a teenager and eventually got his diamond industry start as an apprentice at a diamond polishing plant, according to The Times of Israel.  

He went on to create a polishing business of his own, LLD Diamonds. With strong ties to Russia, where he lives today, Leviev rose to become a major industry force and branched into other businesses like real estate.

Now he’s reportedly wanted for questioning by Israeli police over a diamond smuggling scandal that saw his son Zevulun Leviev, as well as five other LLD Diamonds employees, arrested on suspicion of smuggling last November.

According to Reuters, the alleged smuggling ring brought about $80 million worth of diamonds into Israel in suitcases in an operation conducted since 2010.

Leviev has reportedly refused to leave Russia for questioning in Israel, currently leaving the investigation at an impasse.

Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.
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