ISRAEL – Bar Refaeli gets community service for tax evasion, mom jailed for 16 months. Supermodel avoids prison time under plea bargain; she and her mother to pay a total of NIS 8 million in back taxes, NIS 5 million in fines
Supermodel and Eurovision 2019 hostess, Bar Refaeli and her mother on Tuesday signed a plea bargain with prosecutors to settle tax evasion charges. Under the deal, the model avoids prison time but will perform nine months of community service, while Tzipi Refaeli will serve 16 months behind bars. They both additionally will receive suspended sentences.
The two will each have to pay a fine of NIS 2.5 million (approximately $720,000) as well as a total NIS 8 million ($2.3 million) in back taxes, the Ynet news site reported. The agreement will be submitted to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court later on Tuesday.
Prosecutors said that Refaeli, 34, and her mother hid tens of millions of shekels in earnings from tax authorities. Refaeli’s case revolved around where she was required to pay tax during the years 2009-2012, in Israel or abroad.
Authorities said that Refaeli lied in saying she lived mostly abroad and failed to report the income, pricey gifts, and celebrity discounts she received during that time to Israeli tax authorities. The model claimed she knew nothing about efforts to conceal earnings during that period.
Last July, she appealed to the High Court of Justice against a lower court decision that ordered her to pay taxes on NIS 8 million for earnings abroad in the years 2009-2010.
She had argued that her past relationship with Hollywood movie star Leonardo DiCaprio was tight enough to be considered a family unit — making her home base in the US rather than Israel.