Where Are The Tinder Swindler And His Victims Now?

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Where Are The Tinder Swindler And His Victims Now?
Netflix

This content was paid for by Netflix and created by Looper.

On February 2, 2022, Netflix dropped its latest buzzy documentary that got audiences talking about yet another true-crime sensation: the Tinder Swindler. Over the course of two hours, “The Tinder Swindler” tells viewers the story of Israeli scammer Simon Leviev — which is just one of the many names he’s used throughout the years — and three of his victims, who gave him money, credit cards, and financial support. Whether the victims were in a relationship with Leviev or merely his friend, he managed to convince them that he was in dire trouble and needed enormous sums of money for his “team,” safety, and well-being … and as it turns out, Leviev has spent years pulling horrible schemes like these.

Now, thanks to Netflix, the world knows about Leviev’s years of scams and fraud. And in the aftermath of the documentary’s release, audiences are dying to know what happened to Leviev and his victims, especially the three highly sympathetic women featured in the documentary. For fans of “The Tinder Swindler” who want to see if Leviev was ever held accountable for his crimes or if his victims ever got real justice, we’re here to tell you where Simon Leviev and his victims are now that the documentary has been released.

Simon Leviev's sentence was short-lived

Where Are The Tinder Swindler And His Victims Now?
Netflix

Throughout “The Tinder Swindler,” viewers will likely find themselves appalled and alarmed by Leviev’s numerous crimes, and it’s easy to understand why. Born as Shimon Hayut in Israel, Leviev has gone by many different personas throughout the years, and his distinctive crime spree started in Israel. The con artist legally changed his name to Simon Leviev after spending two years in a Finnish prison for defrauding a different group of women, ending up there after he tried to avoid arrest in Israel and escaped to Finland. In other words, he certainly has a pattern, and prison definitely didn’t put a stop to that.

Instead, Leviev kept conning women in countries throughout Europe, constantly changing his location and stealing more money from his conquests to evade the authorities. Ultimately, his final mark and girlfriend, Ayleen Charlotte, helped track him down in Greece, and he was arrested and convicted of fraud, forgery, and theft. However, he only served five months of his 15 month sentence.

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Director Felicity Morris and her team attempted to contact Leviev for a comment on the documentary, but as the epilogue notes, he responded with a threatening voice message. Though Leviev was back to living the high life with a new girlfriend and a “company” that offers advice on business, after the documentary’s release, Leviev deleted his showy Instagram (via The Independent) and was also permanently banned from Tinder.

Cecilie Fjellhøy was totally taken in by Simon Leviev

Where Are The Tinder Swindler And His Victims Now?
Netflix

As the documentary opens, audiences are introduced to Cecilie Fjellhøy, an optimistic, romantic Norwegian woman who resides in London and was instantly smitten when she matched with Leviev on Tinder. However, after she fell head over heels in love with Leviev — who took her on luxurious vacations that included private jets and top-tier hotels — his plan finally emerged, and Fjellhøy ended up taking out costly personal loans and maxing out several credit cards to try and “protect” the man she loved.

As Leviev claimed that he needed money for everything from dinners with clients to new measures to protect himself from “enemies” (one of Leviev’s most frequent lies was that he was in some sort of danger and wasn’t allowed to use his own credit card), Fjellhøy kept funding him, worried for his safety and her own. However, when she discovered that he went by several names and was swindling her, she was shattered and even admits in the documentary that she had such trouble handling the situation that she checked herself into a psychiatric hospital for a time to protect her own well-being.

Fjellhøy has promoted the documentary’s release on her personal Instagram and still lives in London, but unfortunately, her Leviev-related struggles aren’t quite finished yet. The epilogue notes that she’s still in debt after his scams. Along with other victims, she created a GoFundMe to help erase those debts.

Pernilla Sjöholm was betrayed by a good friend

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Where Are The Tinder Swindler And His Victims Now?
Netflix

Unlike Fjellhøy and many of Leviev’s other victims, Pernilla Sjöholm, a Swedish native, was never romantically involved with Leviev. Though the two met on Tinder, they simply became close friends, and Sjöholm joined Leviev and a non-Fjellhøy girlfriend on several opulent vacations in cities like Mykonos. During these trips, Sjöholm recalled to the interviewers, Leviev would bring Sjöholm and others to nightclubs meant for uber-rich billionaires and order top-shelf champagne and spirits, refusing to let anybody else split the bill.

Sadly, what Sjöholm didn’t know is that all of those trips were funded by Fjellhøy’s loans to Leviev, and ultimately, Leviev started targeting Sjöholm as well. After taking tens of thousands of dollars from Sjöholm, she begged him to confess to his crimes, at which point he began to bitterly threaten her, telling her that she would pay a “price” if she ever tried to meddle in his affairs. Thankfully, Sjöholm then connected with Fjellhøy, and the two became close friends, able to lean on each other for emotional support.

Like Fjellhøy, Sjöholm is a part of a GoFundMe, as she’s still in debt after Leviev’s manipulations. Also like her friend, Sjöholm is active on Instagram and has been promoting the Netflix documentary as well.

Aylee Charlotte managed to bring Simon Leviev down

Where Are The Tinder Swindler And His Victims Now?
Netflix

Ultimately, both Fjellhøy and Sjöholm faced enormous, seemingly insurmountable obstacles when it came to tracking down Leviev, but after they gave their messages and other evidence to news outlets, fashion executive Aylee Charlotte happened to see the story and was driven to act. As it happens, Charlotte was dating Leviev herself at the time, and she recognized a lot of aspects of Fjellhøy’s story … since Leviev was sending her near-identical messages during their relationship.

Charlotte immediately began a one-woman crusade to take Leviev down, feigning sympathy and affection even as she found herself utterly disgusted with his schemes. Ultimately, she was successful in helping authorities apprehend Leviev in Greece while he traveled with a fake passport, which she did by figuring out which flight Leviev was taking based on when his phone was off. But unfortunately, Leviev left prison after only a few months and is now a free man.

Charlotte isn’t on social media, and as a result, little is known about how she’s doing now. Frustratingly, she’s also still in debt, and she’s listed on the GoFundMe alongside Fjellhøy and Sjöholm.

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