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Tinder Swindler's 'First Victim' Was Jailed In Cockroach-Infested Cell For His Crimes

Jess Hardiman

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Tinder Swindler's 'First Victim' Was Jailed In Cockroach-Infested Cell For His Crimes

Featured Image Credit: Courtney Simmonds-Miller

A woman who claims she was the ‘first victim’ of Tinder Swindler Shimon Hayut - best known as Simon Leviev - has revealed how he left her festering in a cockroach-ridden jail for his crimes after she fell ‘under his spell’. 

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Courtney Simmonds-Miller, who is from Cambridge, says she met Hayut when she was 20 and soon, the pair became great friends. 

She would often act as his wingman as he tried to attract women in clubs, but eventually became his personal assistant on a salary of £2,500 a month. 

He’d initially claimed he had no money, but later claimed he was a secret millionaire during a phone call – insisting his dad had sent him to Cyprus to work in a low-paid job to understand the value of money, but that now his inheritance was coming, he planned to open up a business on the Mediterranean island. 

Credit: Instagram/@simon_leviev_official
Credit: Instagram/@simon_leviev_official

Just a few months after becoming his PA, Simmonds-Miller was arrested by Cypriot police and interrogated, accused of credit card fraud. 

Speaking to The Sun about her ordeal, she said: “Initially I thought police were being racist because we weren't Cypriot. I spent three weeks in custody, despite it being a nonviolent crime. 

"The cell was disgusting, there were cockroaches everywhere. There were no doors on the showers or toilets and the loo itself was just a hole in the floor. 

"The showers were cold and didn't have a proper head, it was just a metal pipe. I was sharing with proper criminals in bunk beds. 

"They strip-searched me. I tried to refuse but they were shoving me around saying I didn't have a choice. 

"The whole place was inhumane." 

Eventually, the British High Commission arranged a lawyer for Simmonds-Miller, while her grandparents paid the bill. Her parents also dished out £2,000 for her bail, and Hayut secured £8,000 from a local rabbi. 

Credit: Instagram/@simon_leviev_official
Credit: Instagram/@simon_leviev_official

"I was told by my lawyer that because Simon had skipped the country, all the charges would land on me instead - they'd give his years to me,” she said. 

To keep her out of jail, Simmonds-Miller's grandmother gave the court the deed to her house, along with some money. 

It took two years – and £14,200 of her family’s cash – for her to finally be acquitted. 

Simmonds-Miller said Hayut ‘constantly’ told her he loved her, and how she was his ‘best friend’, the two becoming so close that she withdrew from friends and family. 

"I was 100 percent under his spell," she added. 

"The closest thing I can think of, is when you first meet the love of your life and you would do anything for them. 

"That's what Simon made friendship with him like. He was very attentive, constantly complimenting me. I thought he was my soulmate in friend form and wanted to help me improve my life.” 

Since the The Tinder Swindler documentary dropped on Netflix, a GoFundMe campaign was set up by three of Hayut's victims to help them recoup some of the money they lost.

So far, it has raised more than £130,000 of its £600,000 goal.

Topics: TV and Film, The Tinder Swindler

Jess Hardiman
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