Israeli model Bar Refaeli convicted and sentenced for tax evasion

July 22, 2020 by JNS
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A Tel Aviv court convicted Israeli model Bar Refaeli, 35, on Monday on four counts of tax offences and sentenced her nine months of community service.

Israeli model Bar Refaeli at the Genesis Award Ceremony at the Jerusalem Theater on June 18, 2015. Credit: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL.

Refaeli, along with her mother, 65-year-old Tzipi Refaeli, was ordered to pay a $1.5 million fine on top of millions of back taxes owed to the State of Israel. Tzipi Refaeli is slated to serve 16 months in prison, though her lawyers are appealing on medical grounds.

The punishments were part of a plea agreement that Refaeli accepted in June as she was accused of roughly $10 million in income undeclared.

Tzipi Refaeli, who acted as her daughter’s agent, used other relatives’ names in signing property leases.

The tax investigation started in 2015.

“Israeli tax law determines residency primarily upon whether the person spent most of the calendar year in the country. Refaeli claimed that she hadn’t and therefore did not have to declare her worldwide income in certain years,” reported Fox News.

“But prosecutors rejected her claim and charged her with providing incorrect tax information. For instance, Refaeli’s indictment said she earned some $7.2 million between the years 2009-2012 while claiming to reside overseas to avoid paying taxes on her income.”

Refaeli had an extensive dating relationship with American actor Leonardo DiCaprio, whose residence Refaeli claimed to allegedly avoid paying all taxes she owed to the State of Israel. In previous appeals, an Israeli court deemed that her relationship with the actor didn’t fall under a “family unit.”

Refaeli’s lawyers say she didn’t intend to evade taxes, but Israeli prosecutors rejected the argument.

The appeals process will last until September when the final decision is expected to be delivered.

JNS

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