A woman who was conned out of $200,000 by an Israeli playboy calling himself the ‘Prince of Diamonds’ after matching with him on Tinder has spoken out about the ‘life ruining’ ordeal.
Cecilie Fjellhoy, 29, from Lillestrom in Norway, had been swept off her feet by the ‘diamond dealer’ who organised a private plane to take them to Bulgaria from London on the first date.
The conman first asked Miss Fjellhoy, a graduate student, to take out a line of credit for him in her name just four weeks into their relationship, claiming that it was a security measure due to threats against him.
Shimon Hayut, 28, is said to have snared multiple Scandinavian women with the same ‘confidence fraud’ – claiming he was Simon Leviev, the son of Jewish billionaire diamond merchant Lev Leviev.
‘Simon Leviev’ won the affection of Miss Fjellhoy before using her feelings for him to manipulate her financially – he previously spent three years in Finnish prison for defrauding several women in the same way, reported abc News.
Speaking out in an interview with abc News Miss Fjellhoy revealed how the betrayal led her to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
Breaking down during the interview, she said: “I hate him, he’s so horrible, I am just tired of crying about this you know?”
“It’s just so painful. I just hate myself that I did this.”
“I had to be put into a hospital. Psychiatric ward. Because of suicidal thoughts because I thought my life was over, like I didn’t see a way out.”
“You’ve lost your boyfriend but he didn’t just dump you, he never existed, he was never your boyfriend.”
Miss Fjellhoy filled out documents for an American Express platinum card as per his instructions and he told her to file an income of £200,000.
The conman assured her no one was going to check it.
Ms Fjellhoy said she took the handsome young Israeli at his word just four weeks into their romance.
She took out huge loans for the card and said the Tinder-swindler was soon maxing out the plastic.
Hayut spent two million Norwegian krone (£177, 671) in just 54 days and was racking up bills on paying for his two assistants, his bodyguard and flights across the world, according to the Norwegian.
She told VG her money was being spent on Louboutins in Bangkok, on Gucci in Barcelona, at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin and the Conservatory in Amsterdam.
She said from March 2 to March 25 last year, he spent more than £75,000 on the AMEX.
Hayut was using Ms Fjellhoy’s cash to capture other women in the process, she told the Norwegian paper.
He used her funds to allegedly convince a Swedish woman called Pernilla Sjoholm that he was the son of a billionaire.
Ms Sjoholm told the Norwegian paper she wired Hayut more than £35,000.
Ms Fjellhoy recounted that in one weekend Hayut splurged over £10,000 on taking a new darling to the opera in a limousine.
Ms Fjellhoy described how the sums sickened her today, but at the time she was bowled over by his charms and believed Hayut was a CEO who would reimburse her.
She believed his affections for him were real, but while he texted her each morning asking ‘Good morning, dear, Did you sleep well?’ he was chatting to other women.
Miss Fjellhoy said the experience had changed her as a person, now struggling to trust people.
She said: ‘I see a difference in myself when I talk to people, [I am] much less naive.’
Miss Fjellhoy said the moment she finally realized Hayut had stolen her money was ‘such a shock’.
She said: ‘I almost wanted to throw up, it was the first time in my life that I had gotten such a shock that my body physically was telling me that, ‘OK your life is ruined,’ everything came crashing down around me.’
Hayut has been wanted on charges of theft, forgery and fraud in Israel since 2011, the Times of Israel reported.
He is wanted in Israel and has been reported for fraud in England, Norway and Sweden, VG reported.