The Tinder Swindler: Who are the real Leviev family and what is LLD Diamonds?

Simon Leviev claimed he was part of the $1.5billion family

The Tinder Swindler on Netflix has everyone in a chokehold. It tells the story of the victims of conman Simon Leviev – who told them he was a billionaire heir and conned them out of their life savings. He was actually called Shimon Hayut, and had changed his name to Simon Leviev to make it look like he was part of the real billionaire family.

Simon Leviev called himself the “Prince of Diamonds”, telling women he was the heir to LLD Diamonds and the son of the owner, Lev Leviev. He seduced women by treating them to luxury gifts and a fancy lifestyle, all paid for by previous women he had scammed. He would say he needed the cash as threats had been made against him and his life depended on it and would then disappear.

It was all a lie. But the Leviev family is real, and they are actually billionaires in the diamond industry. They’ve made a statement against Simon Leviev, and said they are currently speaking to police over his fraudulent activity. Here is everything you need to know about the real Leviev family and the family business, LLD Diamonds.

Simon Leviev edited himself into family holiday pictures, via Netflix

The real Leviev family is Lev and Olga Leviev and their nine children

Lev Leviev is an Israeli businessman, philanthropist and investor. He was born in Uzbekistan and is currently 65-years-old. He and his wife, Olga Leviev, have nine children. Their names are Chagit, Zevulun, Shalom, Moshe, Zvia, Ruthie, Joshua, Moshe and Asher. Lev Leviev does not have a son called Simon.

The family moved to Israel in the 1970s, where Lev Leviev landed a job as an apprentice at a diamond polishing plant. Now he owns multiple business as well as investing in real estate. He made his name undercutting the DeBeers diamond cartel, and now Lev Leviev owns high-end diamond jewellery boutiques around the world, and large jewellery chains in Europe. He is also the controlling shareholder of Africa Israel Investments, a real estate and construction company with headquarters in Israel.

Who the real Leviev family are as featured in Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler, Lev Leviev who Simon Leviev claimed to be the son of

via Alan Davidson/Shutterstock

As for his children, Chagit Leviev Sofiev is currently the President of the Leviev Group USA and CEO for Africa Israel USA. Chagit is married and has four children of her own. Brothers Zevulun and Moshe were accused of smuggling $80million worth of diamonds as part of a ring of six other employees of LLD. Lawyers said the claims were “baseless” and The Tinder Swindler Netflix documentary confirmed there was no evidence of such claims. Zevulun Leviev worked in LLD for 13 years, of which he served as CEO of the company for four years.

The family runs LLD Diamonds

Lev Leviev is dubbed the “King of Diamonds” because of the family business, LLD Diamonds. The company is listed as being active since 1996 and is one of the biggest names in the diamond business, with its HQ in New York. LLD Diamonds works with both rough and polished diamonds, all across the world.

The firm has been supplying high quality diamonds to polishers, cutters and jewellers for three decades, and the Leviev Group is the only diamond firm in the world to control all parts of the diamond pipeline. According to the LLD website: “Founded in 1996 by renowned diamantaire, businessman, and philanthropist Lev Leviev, LLD Diamonds USA is the world’s largest privately held diamond manufacturer and cutting group – entirely independent of external suppliers, having its own widespread sources of rough goods through ownerships in mines around the world.”

Speaking to Newsweek, LLD Diamonds confirmed Simon Leviev, or Shimon Hayut, is nothing to do with the family or the business. A spokesperson said: “LLD Diamonds has been a well-regarded leader in the diamond industry for three decades. Our company has no connection whatsoever with Shimon Hayut. He is a fraud who has tried to exploit our good name to con victims out of millions of dollars. Our sympathies go out to his victims. His fraud has also caused ongoing confusion about our company. Nothing he has said, about LLD or anything else, should be believed. As soon as we learned of the fraud, we filed a complaint with the Israeli police, and we hope that Mr. Hayut faces the justice he deserves.”

Who the real Leviev family are as featured in Netflix documentary The Tinder Swindler, Lev Leviev who Simon Leviev claimed to be the son of

via Netflix

In an Instagram story post on the company account it confirmed the company has filed “several” claims with police against Simon Leviev and is “still weighing our civil options”.

via Instagram @llddiamonds

Given the nature of the industry, it’s no surprise the firm has been in the headlines multiple times before. In 2013, a gun-wielding thief stole jewels worth an estimated €40million (£35million) in a raid on a luxury hotel in Cannes, in an exhibition laid on by Lev Leviev and his business.

The Leviev family net worth is in the billions

Lev Leviev has an estimated net worth of $1.5billion (£1.1billion). According to The Times, his fortune has previously been estimated as worth up to $12billion.

The Tinder Swindler is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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Featured image via Alan Davidson / Shutterstock / Netflix.